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Facebook acts to soothe red-faced Redhillians

'Gossip Girl' raises local blood pressure

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For the second time in just over a year, an outbreak of malicious gossip has inspired red-faced apoplexy in the residents of leafy Redhill in Surrey.

The immediate cause of their anger was a Facebook profile – "Goss Ip Redhill" – apparently dedicated to the publication of lewd rumours about the sexual behaviour of various Redhillians.

The site appears to have been inspired - in name if nothing else - by the TV series Gossip Girl, which plots the lives of a bunch of glamorous Manhattan teen socialites. So, easy to see how the format could be replicated in the heart of Surrey's stockbroker belt.

Facebook have now shut down this profile, after it was reported to them by The Surrey Mirror last night. The Mirror were acting on a tip-off from local lass, Charlotte Jordan, aged 20, who contacted them after allegations were published about a friend, who she does not wish to name, earlier this week.

A very cross Ms Jordan was reported in the local press as saying: "I can't believe they think they can get away with it.

"How can they publish these lies? I was absolutely fuming when I saw it. The final straw was when they said my friend was flashing for money.

"It needs to be shut down. There are people that are getting really hurt by these lies. What right do they have to lie about people's sexual orientation, and saying they pose nude for money?”

This followed an earlier complaint from 22-year-old Barry Partheniou of Brook Road, Merstham, who complained about the profile to Facebook and also raised the matter with The Surrey Mirror last week.

The Facebook profile also bore some remarkable similarities to a Bebo profile for "Gossip Gurl of Redhill", which was shut down last year, because, according to the author of that site, "people can’t handle some gossip".

The fact that both profiles appear to have been created – and taken down – in the course of the summer holidays, might be considered suggestive of either a common authorship – or a copycat at work. ®

Bootnote

Despite its outwardly respectable appearance, Redhill is infamous for having been home to occultist Aleister Crowley, train robber Ronnie Biggs, and outspoken Tory Minister Edwina Currie.

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