Facebook Removes Distasteful Jake Vella Meme From Italian Page Citing 'Hate Speech'

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Facebook has removed an insensitive meme that featured Maltese triathlon-running hero Jake Vella as the butt of an overweight joke.

The meme, which was posted yesterday, quickly racked up hundreds of angry Maltese comments, and led to a number of people reporting the page and image to Facebook.

Facebook has since announced that it removed the image after being reviewed by a specialist, who confirmed that it does indeed violate their Community Standards on Hate Speech this afternoon. Yesterday, Facebook had said that the image did not violate its standards.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Clifton Grima, PN MP Ryan Callus, POU Head Sandro Camilleri, TVM journalist Brian Hansford and countless others had come out in defense of Jake, condemning the humour as irresponsible and irrational, while Jake's family thanked the Maltese for their constant support.

"It's interesting how you'll always find those who will be mean and idiotic, but those people give us more strength to be there for Jake's sake, and from here I would like to thank the Maltese and Gozitans from the bottom of our heart for the support and for showing their anger with their messages that filled us up with such courage," Marouska Vella, Jake's mother, told Lovin Malta.

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Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]