Call for full probe in Facebook slur photo incident in Limerick school

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

'Shocked': Noel Malone, principal, Colaiste Chiarain, Croom (LL)
THE principal of a Limerick school that suspended 28 students after they ‘liked’ an offensive post on Facebook has called on the Data Protection Commissioner to carry out a full out a full investigation into the issues surrounding the case.

THE principal of a Limerick school that suspended 28 students after they ‘liked’ an offensive post on Facebook has called on the Data Protection Commissioner to carry out a full out a full investigation into the issues surrounding the case.

Noel Malone, principal of Colaiste Chiarain, Croom, wants the Data Protection Commissioner and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to clarify the existence and availability of a hotline for reporting similar such concerns by principals of schools.

He says the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications should request the recall of Facebook to explain itself, especially with regard to this case.

Mr Malone also wants the full cooperation of Facebook in investigating what went wrong in this case and an acknowledgment of corporate responsibility.

He also rejected the assertion that Facebook did not allow appeals to their decisions as their “systems would get clogged”.

“Surely, the very real potential threat to a person’s life, is reason enough,” he contended.

Deputy Niall Collins has been in contact with Facebook over the case.

“The problem of cyber bullying in this country is something that urgently needs to be addressed and everything possible needs to be done to educate people and eliminate it,” said Deputy Collins.

Mr Malone is not happy why a photo was allowed to be posted, given that images are monitored and offensive images are in breach of Facebook’s own regulations.

Simon Milner of Facebook told Deputy Collins that because the Facebook account on which the material was posted was set up using a false name and had since been closed down, it could not be examined further by the company.