Facebook 'Creature Sightings' group mocks Calgary homeless

A Facebook group called "Creature Sightings" that mocks Calgary street people has drawn the attention of the city's police.

Group members post photos, videos and comments about downtown homeless people

Language warning: Teens taunt homeless man RAW

8 years ago
Duration 1:45
Calgary teens taunt a 'creature' — a homeless man reading a book — and posted it to a Facebook page. 1:45

A Facebook group called "Creature Sightings" that mocks Calgary street people has drawn the attention of the city's police.

Members post photos and videos of people who appear homeless and make comments on them.

Tim Richter, president of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, says the Facebook group Creature Sightings amounts to bullying. (CBC)

Police are investigating and say charges are not out of the question.

“We will be reviewing it on an ongoing basis to determine whether there is criminal offences that are occurring and we'll lay appropriate charges if they're necessary," said Sgt. Erin Partridge.

She said they're urging anyone who feels harassed to contact them.

"We take this very seriously — that a website such as this is marginalizing our already vulnerable community members and is being viewed and actively engaged at and we really encourage members of the public not to further support it by going to the website," she said.

One video shows a group of young men approaching a man reading a library book on a bench.

"I'm going to check out a bum in his natural habitat," one of the young men in the video says, later throwing a piece of garbage at the man who is reading.

Facebook pulls down page

An advocate for the homeless says the behaviour amounts to bullying.

Now there's a new Facebook page that is again posting images of Calgary's street people. (Facebook)

“Here you're exploiting some very vulnerable, very ill people for your own entertainment,” said Tim Richter, president of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

“I think it's up to the rest of us as Calgarians to say as a community that this is not right, that we're not going to accept it. If we recognize people on that site, we should sit them down and say, 'This is not OK.’”

The group was started about a month ago and had more than 200 members, but Facebook has pulled the page down after complaints.

CBC News asked the founders for a comment but didn't hear back.

On the Facebook site, Jordan Tyler Smith wrote: “I never said this was right; but what they do isn't either; if you were a parent out with your toddler at a mall and some drunk ‘bum’ was passed out marinated in Listo, the child would be frightened and you'd be disgusted.”

A group of Calgarians posting photos of street people, whom they call 'creatures,' to a Facebook group. That group was later taken down by the social networking site. (Facebook)

With files from CBC's Meghan Grant


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