As of this afternoon, Gardai say they are investigating an incident depicted in a video of a passenger in a moving car apparently pushing a man off his bicycle. Facebook first refused to act on the removal of the clip, but revised its view and removed the video around 6.30pm on this evening.
An official Garda account Twitter said before 3pm today: “Please refrain from posting footage of cyclist being pushed off the road, Gardaí are investigating this matter, any info pls call 1890205805.”
The clip was apparently filmed in Ireland and was posted by an 18-year-old Facebook user who seems to be Dublin-based. It is unclear where the video was taken, but there are fears online that the video styled as “the next challenge” will spawn copycat offenses.
Facebook originally was unwilling to act on the video, claiming it was compliant with it’s community guidelines. The video was posted posted on Saturday at around 6pm, and remained online until after 6pm on Monday as even after many complaints.
When it was taken off line for a shot time, it is unclear if Facebook or the poster had removed the video before it was restored, but Facebook refused to remove when a number of complaints pointed out that it was against the site’s own guidelines. The poster could have removed it after many commenters on Facebook showed their dislike of the video and a number of those said they would bring it to the attention of the Gardai.
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One boards.ie poster ‘StevieGriff’ wrote: “Reported it and also got told it doesn’t violate facebooks policies. The thought of this actually becoming a ‘challenge’ is frightening, and there is plenty half wits out there who will think this is hilarious.”
Another user, ‘cython’, said: “I’ve also reported it, and given that their criteria for graphic violence is “depicting harm to someone or something” I really don’t see how it can be considered not in violation of that – do they think cyclists are made of rubber and just bounce back on to the road, FFS?! Already know of people who have started flooding it to the media, and reported it to the Gardai having saved a copy in case Facebook act.”
While the video had thousents of Facebook ‘likes’, many users commented their dislike of it. One, Ian Redmond said: “Absolutely horrible. I’m a fellow cyclist and I hate seeing this done. Cop the fuck on and have some manners for other road users. He could of been easily hurt. You could of easily fallen out the window also and broken your neck. Why do this? It’s horrible. I hope karma gets them.”
Another, Adrianna Lukasiewicz wrote: “If that was your dad or uncle and some idiot posted that video would you still see it as a joke? Dope.”
The video’s poster, Eoin Maughan, replied to the criticism yesterday and said: “I really don’t know why everyone is hating the majority of yis are getting a laugh and seeing the joke in it dopes.”
We asked Facebook and the Gardai for comment but have not received a response at the time of publishing this article.