The explicit and intimate exploits of Hawke's Bay young people became the nation's reading this week.
Tales of underage sex, revenge, infidelity, abuse and violent crimes appeared in the hundreds, "anonymously" adorning the walls of Facebook pages created for that very purpose.
In a matter of days more than 5000 people had publicly declared their support for OMG HAWKES BAY CONFESSIONS and OMG Confessions (Hawkes Bay).
It was not the first time such pages - where users private message in their stories to be published - have cropped up here. But this week's instalment was more jaw-dropping than those previous.
Comments ranged from obscene and explicitly sexual, to tales of domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse.
Though the validity and truthfulness of comments was questionable, it was concerning enough to draw attention from police and raise red flags with social agencies.
The issue also raises questions around why young people are so ready to create permanent records of their most intimate details, to publicly ridicule others for their unfortunate incidents, and does their acceptance condone and normalise these behaviours?
Is the Facebook wall the new toilet wall, but in a time where comments can't be painted over, and users cannot choose a different cubicle?
Child psychotherapist at the Napier Family Centre, Dianne Lummis, said teenagers lacked the understanding their comments would never be deleted.
"That kind of age group between 11-16 years old are particularly vulnerable because they might have commented but can't quite understand the implications of these things, they don't have the cognitive capacity to understand their actions," she said.
"They may be feeling under peer pressure and trying to be cool, and it is also the distance. They are not saying it to a person's face - they're typing it or writing it on their phone - which makes it's quite appealing or inviting. It can be quite hard for a teenager to think what impact will this have.
"If they feel there is no consequences to their actions it is very difficult to stop them doing it."
While young people boasting about drinking, doing drugs and engaging in sexual activity was nothing new, the way they chose to share intimate details online in a public forum, was, said Kayren Hatherell, manager of Purena Koa Rehua Youth Services in Hastings.
"I am very aware of the details of the information, whether it's true or not, it's quite graphic. So that's worrying because we work with so many young people whose lives are hugely impacted and influenced by these sites."
Comments openly speaking about harming others could lead to a normalisation of violent behaviour Dove Hawke's Bay manager Malcolm Byford added.
"It's like saying 'it's OK to give people the bash', when it's not. It's very dangerous and people could be killed. It's a crime to hit somebody else and it has serious consequences."
Ms Lummis said most teens would not pay much attention to the sites, but for those who did it could be harmful.
"I do think the average teenager would say 'that's gross' and not go back on it again, but it's the ones that do go back, and do get affected.
"It's really detrimental to kids; they can't get away from it. It's with you all the time, it follows you to school and home again, and that's what makes it particularly destructive."
Aside from relishing their conquests, a trend is therapeutic-posting with users seeking advice from others.
Victim Support CEO Tony Paine said the threat of hurt from these sites was very real, and thoughtless comments written beneath confession posts were also a concern, often fuelled issues and personally attacked other users.
"People need to realise what they think is a throw away comment could really affect people," he said. "If they are getting knocked back by negative comments from others when they speak out online, that's certainly not good."
Mr Paine stressed social media was no substitute for seeking professional advice.
"It may be simpler just putting stuff up on Facebook, but it's no easier to get any help. We live in a world where people are not so concerned with their privacy because of the anonymity. The encouragement for them is to get help from real people in their local community."
Mr Paine advised anybody who had not reported a crime to go to the police, no matter how long ago it might have been.
Ms Lummis said parents needed to monitor their children's internet use and teenagers needed to stop tolerating anti-social behaviour by sticking up for each other.
Hastings Police Youth Services Co-ordinator Sergeant Ross Stewart agreed: "Parents need to monitor what their kids are putting on Facebook. If it's inappropriate, remove it or ban them from the site. Writing online is like sending a post card: anyone that handles it can read it, and it can be misinterpreted.
"Posting stuff that is really personal makes them vulnerable. Other people use it as a form of bullying."
One of the pages, OMG Confessions (Hawke's Bay) was removed from Facebook yesterday, but social media commentator Vaughn Davis said there was nothing to stop more cropping up.
"That sort of OMG confessions thing is a world wide phenomenon," he said. "Hawke's Bay is the first local one I have noticed and it is likely that the notoriety of this one will inspire others."
Mr Davis, who is the owner of social media and advertising firm The Goat Farm, said the pages were so shocking because they revealed something not usually seen by most.
"What's happening is this page is now on the public radar, it is bringing an audience to the sort of conversation that wouldn't normally see it - this was already happening on personal pages but you could only see it if you were their friends. The broader online public is seeing into a part of Hawke's Bay society that they wouldn't otherwise."
Creators of the pages told Hawke's Bay Today they were just providing an outlet for people to disclose their problems, but also provide the audience "with some laughs".
"It's all for a laugh really," said the person responsible for OMG HAWKES BAY CONFESSIONS. "We haven't told anyone to do anything, we are simply posting confessions."
However, local police and lawyers have made it very clear the legal consequences that can stem from these pages.
Those detailing crimes can be followed up by police, who are not bound by the Privacy Act when tracking crimes on websites.
Site administrators could also face defamation, internet law expert Michael Wrigley said.
But those online were not deterred, saying: "We also haven't given out any names. I'm not worried that police are watching the page. I don't see what the problem is. Nobody has been hurt."
Mr Davis said though social media was often seen as the problem, it was time to include it as the solution.
"Online bullying might be more venomous than other forms of bullying, but it doesn't mean the online environment should get the blame for the behaviour."
It was like blaming schoolyard bullying on the concrete it was built on, he said. "Youth suicide, though it is still high, it hasn't risen since Bebo, Twitter and Facebook have all come up ...
"Online life is not the problem. We should see social media as a positive."
Mr Davis is assisting a national programme called Red Flag that looks at different ways to detect depression through social media.
Purena Koa Rehua Youth Services, Hastings: Phone 06 879 6434
National Youthline Helpline: Phone 0800 37 66 33 or free text: 234
Victim Support NZ: Phone 0800 842 846
National Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757
The Lowdown website: www.thelowdown.co.nz
Lifeline New Zealand: 0800 543 354.