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Mum who lost baby asked to ‘like’ sick Facebook joke page

A mum who lost a child to cot death has been left horrified by a page on Facebook devoted to sick jokes about dead babies.

Francesca Hume gave birth to her son Michael on January 6, 2011, but two months later she was heartbroken by his sudden death.

The 24-year-old is disgusted that the social networking site has allowed the page to continue and that more than 25,000 people have clicked the ‘like’ button for it.

Ms Hume, of Stobhill in Morpeth, said: “I was invited to like the page and couldn’t believe what I was reading.

“It is disgusting. These people have no idea what it is like to lose a child and to see them making fun of it is sick.

“I’m surprised Facebook has allowed it to continue.”

As well as jokes about babies, the page has photographs, some of them of babies with captions alongside.

Ms Hume, mum to four-year-old Ethan and three-month-old Jonathan, accepts that the page is not breaking any of Facebook’s rules, but believes that it is morally wrong and should not be allowed.

She said: “As well as the jokes, people who post on the wall opposing the page get nothing but abuse from those that created it. It’s sick.

“It breaks my heart that after losing a child I have to accept that Facebook can condone this kind of thing.”

A number of pages have since been set up on Facebook opposing the group and an online petition has been launched to try to get the page closed.

A spokesperson for Facebook said: “We take our rights and responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to remove reported content that violates our policies.

“We’re sensitive to content that includes pornography, bullying, hate speech, and actionable threats of violence.

“The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving people the freedom to express themselves and maintaining a safe and trusted environment.

“In general, groups devoted to jokes, even disgusting and distasteful ones, do not violate our policies. Where these groups make real threats or statements of hate, however, we will remove them.

“We encourage people to report anything they feel violates our policies using the report links located throughout the site or by using the reporting tools in our help centre.

“Dead baby joke groups and pages in general do not violate our statement of rights and responsibilities. However, should there be any specific images believed to display children at risk, we encourage the reporter to bring them to our attention so that we can investigate them and take action accordingly.”

A petition opposing the page can be found online at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34839

 
 
 

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