Slane sex act image removed from sites as Gardai investigate
on 21/08/2013 00:00:00
A Garda spokesman asked that the media "respect the privacy of the people involved and their families".
The girl involved in the incident has since removed her Twitter and Facebook pages. However, a number of her followers on Twitter have tweeted in her defence asking people to stop posting the picture.
Facebook confirmed on Monday night that it had removed at least one page that had published photographs of the incidents because they violate its terms of service.
A spokesperson said the social media network "takes safety incredibly seriously, and have worked hard for years to develop clear rules and powerful reporting tools that enable people to easily report things that make them uncomfortable".
A spokesperson for Twitter also said it does not tolerate "child sexual exploitation on Twitter".
"When we are made aware of links to images of or content promoting child sexual exploitation they will be removed from the site without further notice and reported to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. We permanently suspend accounts promoting or containing updates with links to child sexual exploitation," said the spokesperson.
The social media giant asked people not to tweet, retweet or re-post child sexual exploitation for any reason and to report it by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so it can be removed.
Instagram also appeared to have taken action as a number of users had their accounts disabled for uploading the images from Slane.
Speaking on Cork's Red FM, media law expert in the firm of Ronan Daly Jermyn solicitors, Darryl Broderick, warned that people posting such images online are not immune from the reaches of the law.
"People have been jailed for things that they do on social media. People have lost their jobs. People have been sued - so there are serious consequences that can arise. Now, it's in the minority of cases but it can arise and it will become more prevalent because more and more people are using social media," he said.
Spokesman for youth support service SpunOut.ie, Ian Power, said those who shared the photos of the incident were as much to blame as those who uploaded it to social media sites.
"The hashtag itself - #slanegirl - seems to be even placing some kind of blame on or almost shame on the girl and not necessarily the other party that's involved. In fact, it's wrong to do it to both of the people involved. It's wrong to take the photo, it's wrong to share it and it should be taken down by the social networks and completely ignored," he said.