Facebook responds to school’s plea: ‘Offensive’ page is shut down

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A Facebook page that used pictures and videos of local school pupils as part of sexually suggestive posts has been shut down.

Staff at Dromore High School had been trying for several months to get the page taken down, without success. But today Facebook confirmed that the offending web page has been removed.

The page carried an image of the school badge, a photograph of the school and posts featuring pictures and videos of children and young people. Many of the posts contained sexually suggestive content.

There had been no activity on the page since April last year. However, fresh concerns were raised by parents after several new picture and video memes were posted to the page over the past week.

One local parent branded the page, which claimed to be run by a group of pupils and former pupils, “absolutely disgusting” and described some of the posts as “utterly vile.”

Responding to concerns about the page, principal Ian McConaghy described it as “inappropriate” and “offensive” and stressed that the school had made repeated attempts to have it taken down, even asking the police to intervene.

On Monday afternoon this newspaper raised the concerns of the school and local parents with Facebook. And less than 24 hours later a spokesperson for the US-based social media giant confirmed that “the reported page has been removed from Facebook as it violates our Community Standards.”

The spokesperson went on to say that Facebook does not tolerate bullying on its pages and stressed that any “bad content” can be reported via its Safety Centre.