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Host pulls satire site after police ‘incitement’ claim

Threat of mob violence averted, apparently

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A satirical Web site that attempted to parody concerns over child safety has been shut down following the intervention of police.

Thinkofthechildren.co.uk was pulled on Monday after officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Obscene Publications and Internet Unit contacted the site's hosts alleging that that it could incite others to violence.

Police said they approached Host Europe after they received a number of complaints about the site from concerned members of the public.

Host Europe shut down the site after they failed to contact the site's owner.

However, the incident has sparked a strongly worded response from those running the site.

A message reads: "Sorry, Thinkofthechildren.co.uk has been torched by an angry mob."

"There was no warrant issued. No form of official order at all. Just a polite request - which was immediately complied with," it says.

For those of who didn't see the site before it was pulled, the first paragraph read: "We are concerned parents, many of whom have children of our own and who want the law changed to protect them. Every day in Britain happy, popular children who do well at school are being murdered by evil paedophile scum. Well enough's enough! Its time the law got tough on child murderers."

However, the site's owners claim this was all part of the satire and explain that it should be interpreted as follows: "This is a work of satire. It might not be very funny satire, but it is satire. It is in no way an incitement to commit mob violence. It is quite obvious to anyone who reads any of the words on the site that it is a piece of comment on Britain's tabloid-fuelled, pig-ignorant mob culture."

Those behind the site say they are seeking legal advice before deciding what to do next.

They conclude: "I'll leave you to ponder the irony of a site parodying mob culture being removed on the basis of complaints from a tiny group of very stupid - but very loud - members of the public."

No one from Thinkofthechildren.co.uk was available for comment at the time of writing. ®

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