Pro-life group hit by cyber attack

AUCKLAND — Family Life International New Zealand’s Facebook pages
have been attacked, forcing the organisation to pull them down to get rid of the filth.
FLI communications director Michelle Kaufman, who is in charge of the group’s website and Facebook pages, said the attack
happened fast.
“One of the interesting things about the comments made in the
Facebook attack is that none of them had anything to do with abortion at all. A great number were actually attacks on the faith and Jesus, which had been true of a great number of negative comments. It highlighted the fact that abortion is, first
and foremost, a spiritual battle,” Mrs Kaufman said.
The attack came at 2pm in the first week of the 40 Days for Life
campaign. Mrs Kaufman said the messages were disgusting and not even
The worst was a picture of human waste in a toilet bowl. The people
responsible also posted vitriolic messages on the pages.
“First, they attacked our events page for 40 Days for Life in Auckland, then they’ve gone to the Wellington event page,
then they went to our main Family Life International New Zealand page,” she added.
Mrs Kaufman said she had pulled the pages down for a couple of
days. She, later on, cancelled both the event pages for Auckland and
Wellington and set up a private group for 40 Days for Life. People would have to ask to join the group.
“It’s quite good leaving it off for a couple of days. It allowed things to simmer down. They [bullies] get bored with it all in a
short period,” she said.
She said the attacks were just distracting them from the business
of praying. “We are happy to enter into a dialogue with people and, in fact, I did start trying to do that on the day that it started
with the ones that seemed reasonable. But there was just so much filth. You’ve got to try and keep that off . We don’t want that
kind of rubbish on our pages,” she said.
There hadn’t been any attack since then.
Mrs Kaufman reported those who posted the nasty messages to Facebook.
“The 40 days’ focus is really on prayer and fasting, and then a silent witness at the abortion places. We don’t want to
create controversy. We don’t want to be at the centre of something that becomes nasty, because that’s not who we are and that’s not what we are about,” she said. “We are about compassion.
We are about offering the hand of hope.”
Voice For Life President Bernard Moran said this was not the first attack on social media sites of pro-life advocates.
“This sort of thing goes with the territory. We’ve been pretty lucky. It’s been quite a few years since we got our website attacked. It’s not the mainline anti-abortion groups. You get the small ones that are pretty vigorous,” he said.
He recalled a photo of Right to Life president Ken Orr with a gun on his head being posted on social media sites a couple of years ago.
“It’s the reality of cyberbullying. There’s not much you can do about it. There are just people out there who are cyberbullies.
They are crazy,” he said.

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Rowena Orejana

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