Fake profiles pretending to be Westhoughton residents have been set up to spread online abuse by trolls backed by Labour and Conservative activists.
The profiles have been set up to harass Liberal Democrat councillors who have recently won a string of local elections in Westhoughton.
The accounts have been promoted or interacted with by pages including “My Westhoughton’s Blocked Resident’s”, the Conservative-run “Westhoughton Life” and the anti-Lib Dem page “Our Westhoughton”.
The screenshots below show how trolls stole images from media websites and used them to create fake accounts pretending to be Westhoughton residents.
Westhoughton South ward councillor David Wilkinson said: “We do not tolerate online abuse like this and we are taking this issue very seriously.”
Councillor Bernadette Eckersley-Fallon added: “My colleagues and I give up our time all the year round to represent Westhoughton residents. It’s clear that these trolls feel threatened by us but whether you agree with our politics or not, we should not have to tolerate daily harassment.”
Anyone found to be sharing, commenting, liking or otherwise encouraging abusive posts from these pages will be removed from My Westhoughton.