Police are investigating after internet trolls posted vile comments alongside the images of children on a Coleraine Facebook site.
Facebook users operating under false identities targeted the site – ’Buy, Swap and Sell in the Coleraine area’ – using pictures from group members.
After a number of members took action, reporting the site to Facebook, it was closed down on Tuesday night.
Group member and mother-of-six Claire Corrigan, whose daughter was targeted by online trolls, has branded those responsible as “disgusting”.
The 38-year-old from Belfast told the News Letter she was targeted because “the settings on my Facebook profile picture were not private”.
She added: “They were changing my daughter’s face and then they added a disgusting image. Anyone who commented on how awful the pictures were then were also targeted.”
Mrs Corrigan said the trolls “seem to target any group on Facebook”.
“A few of us opened up a new site called NEW Buy Sell & Swap Coleraine and the trolls then tried to join on Tuesday night.
“The last site did not seem to have any administrators and that was the problem because the page was really good for genuine people who wanted to buy stuff locally.”
And Coleraine woman Grainne Whyte told of her devastation when a picture of her little son, just hours old, was posted on the site at the weekend.
The unknown person who posted the image poked fun at the baby’s appearance, saying that he looked like a baby who had Down’s Syndrome.
Grainne said: “I am just sick to the stomach thinking that someone could take pictures from my own personal page and use them in such a way.
“I have my security settings set correctly, so I don’t understand how they got hold of the images.
“My son has learning difficulties, he cannot stand up for himself, so I felt I needed to speak out about this – if even only to warn others. It is internet bullying and harassment.”