Public information or public shaming? Facebook page posts mugshots of NC college students

The Facebook page "Campus Mugshots: Wilmington, N.C." posts mugshots of who it claims are Wilmington UNC Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College students.(Source: Facebook)

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) — “Innocent until proven guilty.” Those words are boldly typed across the cover photo of the Facebook page, “Campus Mugshots: Wilmington, NC.”

The page posts mugshot photos of who they say are UNC Wilmington and Cape Fear Community College students.

“It’s a virus,” said Michael Crane, whose friend’s mugshot was posted on the page last week. “It just totally changes people’s opinions of him and they don’t really know what exactly happened.”

According to the Campus Mugshots website, there are similar Facebook pages for schools in 13 separate cities across the country.

At the top of the Wilmington page, the creators promise to help offenders and even offer to assist them in finding legal council.

Crane, however, says it has done nothing but publicly shame his friend.

“They’re just not helping anybody except for themselves,” he said.

In many cases, the creators of both the Facebook page and website appear to be making fun of those arrested.

On one post, writing, “Smile for the camera.”

“I mean he’s smiling, but it’s just kind of insensitive,” Crane said.

You can request to remove a mugshot. There’s a tab to fill out a form on the Facebook page, however, it may not be so easy.

The Q&A section of its website requires a long list of criteria to remove mugs.

“They just basically replied with like a really insensitive comment,” Crane said of his friend’s case. “They said ask him to contact them but he can’t because he’s in prison now.”

According to a University of Georgia newspaper article from 2014, the founders are three graduates from the University of Florida.

WECT has reached out several times to the creators through Facebook, but were directed to send all questions to an email address.

Copyright 2016 WECT. All rights reserved.

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