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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

People doctoring M50 crash images to avoid Facebook's filters and upload online, TD says

Images of the crash are still being shared on social media by escaping the filters set up to block them, Hildegarde Naughton said.

Image: Sam Boal/

FACEBOOK USERS ARE doctoring images of a fatal crash on Dublin’s M50 and uploading them to the social network, making it hard for the company’s software to detect and delete the photos.

That is according to Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton, who said in a statement this evening that social networks should be held to account as well as urging people not to share these images.

The images being shared on the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp are of an incident which took place on a slip road just off the M50 at Junction 5 in Finglas last week.

A woman in her 30s, the driver of one of the cars involved, died in the incident. 

The driver of a second car, a man in his 50s, was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Minor damage was caused to a truck and a third car.

Gardaí issued an appeal to people not to share the images out of respect to the woman’s family and the other people involved in the collision.

Naughton – who heads the Oireachtas Communications Committee – said this evening that she had been in touch with senior Facebook executives over the sharing of the images.

She said: “I have been assured that they are continually monitoring the site for any reappearance of these images.

However I am informed there are still people doctoring the original images, making them harder to detect by the dedicated Facebook software.
It is appalling that this is still happening. I would urge some sense of empathy to prevail and encourage Facebook to continue to monitor and take down these images.

Independent Senator Lynn Ruane had encouraged everyone who saw the images online to report them so they could be removed.

Facebook has created a digital fingerprint for the images that will prevent them from being re-uploaded to the site but it still need links to remove the images from any networks on which they remain. Facebook also owns the WhatsApp messaging app.

With reporting from Órla Ryan

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