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Dundee Facebook page ‘disgrace’

By Michael Owens, 8 June 2013 11.00am.

Police have vowed to investigate an “unacceptable” social media page targeting drug addicts in Dundee.

More than 1,000 people have liked the Facebook page that talks about attacking and killing drug addicts in the city.

But Facebook will not remove the page because the company says it doesn’t violate its terms.

The page, called Get Junkies out of Dundee City Centre, claims to be a “platform for discussion”.

However, on the site, comments have suggested drowning addicts along with setting them on fire before hitting them with a shovel, and running over Big Issue sellers.

The group’s description says: “This page is a talking point about drug addicts, I prefer the term junkie though as it fits better.

“Although this page may not help rid them from our streets it has become a platform for discussion.”

But the group invites users to make inflammatory comments, with posts like: “Finish this sentence. The best way to deal with a junkie is...”

Suggestions below the post include: “Set them on fire then put them out with a shovel.”

One contributor has even posted photographs of groups of people congregating outside his housing block, claiming they are “junkies”.

The site was condemned by Councillor Ken Lynn, the convener for social work and health whose ward includes the city centre. The councillor branded the page a “disgrace”.

He said: “The site is full of abusive stuff. I can understand why people get frustrated with people who turn to drugs, but this is almost an incitement to hatred.

“I’m surprised it has been up for so long. It’s going too far. The tone of it is unacceptable and some quite violent and graphic things are mentioned. It’s a disgrace.

“With the terms they are using, you wouldn’t be surprised if it turned into violence.

“That is beyond the pale and not the way to talk about fellow human beings. They are stigmatised enough without being called ‘junkies’.

“The page is unacceptable and I don’t think it should be allowed.”

The page has been online since October, and in that time has attracted 1,145 likes. Many of the posts have dozens of derogatory comments about drug users.

Police have vowed to look at the page and take action against individuals if necessary.

A spokesman for the force’s Tayside Division said: “Any threats of violence or actual physical violence carried out against any individuals in our community is a criminal offence. We will look into the content of this page and take any necessary action.”

Facebook said that the page would not be taken down because it does not target a protected category.

A spokesman for the site said: “The page will not be removed because it does not violate our terms. It does not target any protected category, nor does it target any private individuals.

“Facebook is highly self-regulating, and people can and do report offensive content. We take our rules very seriously, and act quickly when they are broken.”