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Shock: Facebook acts on privacy

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Full blooded, empty-headed, time-rich, girlfriend-poor Aussie blokes, including a trio of North Melbourne footballers, are suffering a savage attack from media and the public over their membership to an exclusive mens-only Facebook group called "the Brocial Network".

(El Reg: for those not familiar with Australian-New Zealand argot, "bro" is short for "brother". It got quite a workout in the accidental YouTube sensation The Beached Whale.)

The stag site, which requires a request and approval from "King Brocial", encouraged members to trawl Facebook and upload revealing photos of hot women - without their consent. The penalty for failing to post pics was removal from the group.

"Brocial" reportedly launched two weeks ago and quickly amassed around 8000 (male) members. Following a media firestorm about the site yesterday, its Facebook page has either been blocked completely, or set to private.

In a tiny nod towards privacy, the site discourages the use of names of the women depicted.

Discourse over the unfortunate womens' attributes is keenly encouraged. However, since the site was members-only, most of the women featured in the posts had no way of knowing that their photos were being used and re-posted without their permission.

Protest women-only parody sites quickly launched in retaliation, as did another Brocial Network page that features hundreds of guys asking to be added "to see titties", prompted by the media coverage.

Australian Privacy Foundation vice-president Dan Svantesson sad yesterday, “few people understand how weak privacy protection is from a legal perspective in Australia.”

The Register is unaware of whether or not Queensland's ham-fisted plods are going to arrest Brocial members on suspicion of receiving unlawfully obtained property, as happened to unlucky tech journalist Ben Grubb this week. ®

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