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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 8 December, 2019

'Dead Baby Jokes' on Facebook are not funny, says TD

Gerald Nash says his calls for the Facebook page to be removed are not just a case of him “being PC”.

Image: Facebook Screengrab via Facebook

A LABOUR TD has written to Facebook asking for a page dedicated to ‘Dead Baby Jokes’ to be removed from the social network immediately.

Gerald Nash has asked the director of online operations at Facebook to “personally intercede to ensure that the highly offensive page” is taken down.

The Louth/Meath East deputy was made aware of the page, which describes itself as the “official page for Dead Baby Jokes”, by a constituent.

He said he was “horrified” when he viewed it himself.

“It is quite simply sick and cannot be defended in any way. Losing a child is probably the most devastating thing that can happen to any human being and how anyone can make jokes about it is beyond me,” added Nash. “This is not a case of being PC. There are some line you just do not cross.”

In its ‘about’ section on Facebook, the page says there are “no boundaries on racism, religion, culture and overall anything offensive”. It also adds the following disclaimer:

Dead Baby Jokes contains highly offensive humor and should not be viewed by individuals who are easily offended by tasteless humor. We here at Dead Baby Jokes take the safety of your children at heart, and do not in any way condone the killing of babies, or any other manner in which harm could come to a child.

The page was first created in January 2010 and has just over 19,000 followers.

Nash says that he appreciates that Facebook cannot continuously monitor all postings or pages but believes they are usually “quick to respond to complaints”.

Unfortunately that does not seem to apply in this case. This page has been live for some time and Facebook have not responded to complaints so far.

He remains optimistic that Facebook will react to his request as to not “jeopardise” its “excellent reputation” in Ireland. Nash will also seek to raise the issue of the Facebook page in the Dáil under topical issues. He has notified Minister Seán Sherlock to see if anything can be done under current internet legislation.

There is precedent for Nash’s request as last year Facebook removed a number of ‘rape joke’ pages from its site. However, at the time it said controversial material may remain if administrators add a tag stating that their intentions are humorous or satirical.

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