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Facebook Removes Racist Aboriginal Memes Page

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A Facebook page dedicated to mocking and abusing Aborigines has been removed after a wave of disgust and a flurry of campaigns to ban it.

The page, which referred to Aborigines as "drunks who sniff petrol", and welfare cheats, was set up on June 4, but it has only now been removed. Initially, Facebook said it had no plans to act, but the company appears to have backtracked following the storm of protest.

One of the photo captions featured on the page read: "How do you kill 1000 flies at once? Slap me in the face," The Australian reported.

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The offending page mocked Aborigines as hopeless drunks and welfare cheats

According to the Herald Sun, while the page has been taken down, a statement from Facebook regarding the incident is, in parts, "unapologetic".

The social media giant, which is also in discussion with the Australian Race Discriminator Commissioner, said: "We recognise the public concern that controversial meme Pages that Australians have created on Facebook have caused.

"We believe that sharing information, and the openness that results, invites conversation, debate and greater understanding.

"At the same time, we recognise that some content that is shared may be controversial, offensive, or even illegal in some countries.''

Public figures - including the Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, called for the closure of the page and a number of online campaigns were started in support of the calls.

On Wednesday Mr Conroy's office called on Facebook's Sydney headquarters to take the page down, but the page had been reclassified as "controversial humour" and the social networking group did not pass judgement on humour, AP revealed.

Facebook: Immediately remove the racist page called "Aboriginal Memes" gathered more than 18,000 signatures and a page called Shut Down Aboriginal Memes had amassed more than 5,000 "likes".

The page administrator wrote: "Is this the impression that we want others to have of our country? This is a national embarrassment."

But it warned of copycat sites, some of which have already been reported: "The original purpose for this site, to shut down Aboriginal Memes has been achieved, for now. However new sites are springing up and will continue to do so whilst the issues surrounding inequality towards indigenous Australians exist."

Some reports say the creator of the page is a 16-year-old boy from Perth.

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