UK

Facebook 'Valentine's Day Cat-Punching' Page Taken Down After Animal Rights Outrage

10/02/2015 10:29 GMT | Updated 10/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Facebook has removed a page for a Valentine's Day "cat punching event" after thousands called for it to be taken down.

Nearly 30,000 animal lovers signed a petition calling on the social network remove the offensive page, which is suspected to be the work of a well-known troll.

The page appeared to invite people to an event scheduled for 14 February where cats would be abused for fun, and featured distressing pictures of people threatening cats with their fists.

catpunching

The disturbing page has now been taken down

The page, called "Valentines cat punching event", featured images of cats being threatened and abused, including dead kittens and a cat which had apparently been run over, with a description saying: "Has anyone lost a large, flat orange cat (and quite a lot of flies)?"

Campaigners report that the page had over 2,000 'likes'.

READ MORE:

"I prefer the full grown cats, honestly," the page's creator wrote, according to the Daily Mirror, "The little ones can't take a punch to save their lives. It's pathetic."

A petition calling for the page's removal received 28,094 signatures, and many people claim to have reported it to Facebook and Interpol.

One signatory commented: "Facebook cannot condone such a thing! How can anyone even think of doing this? Get rid of this page and lock up whoever started it!"

The page appeared to have been set up under the name Jamie Card, an alias used by a notorious online prankster. Jamie Card was written on a piece of paper in one of the page's images, suggesting the event was a joke.

In 2013, an abuser using the name Jamie Card hacked a mother's Facebook profile and pretended to give her two-year-old son away. The hacker posted an image of her son with the words: “1 Downs Syndrome boy free to a good home - please take away before further abused."

The name Jamie Card is also linked to the harassment of children online.

Other groups sprung up on the social network protest against the page, which can no longer be found on Facebook.

anti catpunching

Several Facebook groups sprung up against the page

Online activism site Care2, which hosted the petition, said the page was "horrific".

Randy Paynter, CEO of Care2, said: “Animal lovers and decent Facebook users everywhere applaud Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook administrators for taking action to immediately remove a vile and violent “cat-punching” Valentine’s Day page."

The speed at which this citizen petition author was able to raise awareness about the cause is truly impressive, having gathered over 1,000 signatures in just an hour."