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Facebook Says Controversy Not Banned After Drinking Game Calls

Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. said that controversial and offensive behavior does not necessarily break its rules, after an Irish government minister said it would be helpful for the social network to remove pages linked to the ‘Neknominate’ online drinking game.

While the company doesn’t tolerate content which is directly harmful, for example bullying, controversial or offensive behaviour is not necessarily against its rules, according to a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park, California-based company, who responded to questions in an e-mail.

Two recent deaths in Ireland may have been linked to the ‘Neknominate’ game which involves drinking, or necking, a pint of alcohol, in one gulp, newspapers including the Irish Independent reported. Nominations for the dare are frequently made through Facebook.

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, could help arrest the spread of the game by removing pages linked to the practice, Irish Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said today, Dublin-based RTE reported on its website today.

“The first responsibility is with the young people who are falling for a stupid ruse,” Rabbitte said, calling it a “stupid and silly phenomenon.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Donal Griffin in Dublin at dgriffin10@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dara Doyle at ddoyle1@bloomberg.net

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