- How did it kick off?
The uncle of murdered Harry Potter actor Rob Knox condemned an application on Facebook that allowed members to virtually stab each other. He told The Sun: 'The CEO or directors of Facebook should be arrested for inciting violence.' Anti-knife action group Urban Concepts also condemned the game.
- How the story developed
The knife icon was removed within hours of the story appearing on The Sun's website. Facebook said in a statement it did not condone violence. It stressed the game was created by a third party (Slide) and only hosted on its site. Slide also said in a statement it did not condone violence, and that it had removed the icon because it 'misrepresented the SuperPoke! brand'.
- How did the media cover it?
It was The Sun's Monday splash under the headline 'Knife a pal on Facebook - fury at site's stab taunts'. It was widely picked up by other media. The Press Association ran with 'Fury over Facebook knifing game', The Guardian with 'Facebook "stabbing" game removed' and Marketing Week with 'Facebook slammed for "knife" game'.
- What was the response?
Slide's comms director hit back at The Sun. She told PRWeek: 'I have no idea what motivated The Sun to write this article. It got a lot of facts incorrect and completely sensationalised a story that wasn't even a story in the first place.' She argued that the game was 'fun and/or silly'. The Sun declined to comment.