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Mario Balotelli fined and suspended for Instagram post

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been fined £25,000, suspended for a match and ordered to attend an "education programme" by the FA as punishment for an Instagram post that provoked claims of racism and anti-semitism.

Mario Balotelli retweeted the offensive image on his Instagram account before removing it after criticism. Credit: Mario Balotelli/Instagram

Balotelli admitted breaching FA rules after apologising for re-posting an image from the computer game 'Super Mario' on his Instagram page which included the comment "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".

The Football Association confirmed the punishment, announcing:

Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Mario Balotelli has been fined £25,000, suspended for one-match with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted breaching FA Rules in relation to social media.

The charge was that an image the Liverpool player posted on social media was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA Rule E3(1).

Furthermore, the posting was considered to be an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in FA Rule E3(2) in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.

Mr Balotelli has also been ordered to attend an education programme.

– Football Association


Instagram site briefly goes down

Photo-sharing site Instagram briefly went down today.

An "Internal Server Error" message appeared when users attempted to access their accounts.

A source from Facebook, who own Instagram, confirmed to ITV News that the network was temporarily down for a short period but is now available.

The message that users were greeted by when trying to log in. Credit: Instagram

Welby posts Christmas video message on Instagram

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Reverend Justin Welby. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Archbishop of Canterbury has posted a Christmas video message on Instagram.

The Most Rev Justin Welby appears in the short clip on the photo-sharing website as part of the Church of England's social media campaign called Christmasmeans.

Mr Welby, who has more than 48,000 followers on Twitter, joined Instagram in October in his drive to spread the Christian message to the app's 150 million users worldwide.

In his Christmas message, the Archbishop says: "Christmas means that, through Jesus, God shows unconditionally that he loves us. I pray that he gives you a very blessed Christmas."

The video, posted on Lambeth Palace's Instagram account, is also being tweeted by the Archbishop and through the Lambeth Palace Twitter page, lambethpalace.


Darth Vader selfie launches Star Wars Instagram

The selfie of Darth Vader has gained more than 27,000 likes on Instagram Credit: Star Wars/Instagram

Star Wars launched its official Instagram account by posting a selfie of Darth Vader.

The image, which is captioned 'another day in the office', shows the character posing with a phone and has gained more more than 27,000 likes in less than 24 hours.

Fans of the sci-fi franchise were encouraged to sign up to the new Instagram account with a tweet which read: "It is useless to resist."

Jamie Oliver bans daughters from social media sites

Jamie Oliver has banned his children from joining social networking sites or owning mobile phones over fears they could be bullied.

Jamie Oliver and wife Jools with their children (from left to right) Buddy Bear Maurice, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom Rainbow and Poppy Honey. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

The celebrity chef, who often posts on Twitter and Facebook, has forbidden his daughters Poppy, 11, and Daisy, 10, from doing the same.

Oliver, a friend of Instagram’s co-founder Kevin Systrom, told Closer magazine: "I found out my two eldest girls had set up Instagram accounts in secret, which I was not happy about and soon put a stop to it.

“Poppy’s the only girl in her class still not allowed a mobile. It may sound harsh, but I do worry about the bullying that can go on with these sites.”

“I know the girls have had a hard time in the past at school because their dad’s on TV. I just don’t want to risk it happening online too. It’s impossible to keep an eye on,” he added.

Instagram raises 'concerns' over Lady Gaga's well-being

Instagram have contacted Lady Gaga over "concerns" about her well-being after members of its online community raised concerns over posts the singers has shared recently.

The singer tweeted a screenshot of the email she received along with the message "omg at this email INSTAGRAM just sent me".

Lady Gaga tweeted a screenshot from the email she received from Instagram Credit: Twitter/Lady Gaga

The email said: "Members of the Instagram community have raised concerns for your well-being after seeing posts you've shared. We're reaching out to provide you with some important safety information."

In recent days, the singer has posted handwritten notes to Instagram including "Each day I cry, I feel so low from living high", which are thought to be lyrics from a song on her forthcoming album.

Gaga does not appear to have taken the correspondence seriously, tweeting: "What the actual hell. hahahah."

Swedish MP flashes genitals at Instagram followers

A prominent Swedish politician was forced into a rapid U-turn after he accidentally posted an image of his genitals on photo-sharing website Instagram.

Lars Ohly, who was intending to share a photo of a new Liverpool FC tattoo on his leg, failed to notice that his penis was visible in the background.

The 56-year-old quickly removed the revealing snap, but not before his oversight had been spotted by social media users.

Lars Ohly's Instagram photo revealed more than the MP had intended Credit: REUTERS/Bob Strong

Despite facing a barrage of ridicule, former Left Party leader Ohly made light of the potential political crisis.

He tweeted: "Ha, ha, I accidentally posted a picture on Instagram that showed more than intended. Now corrected".

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, of the rival Moderate Party, joked: "Congratulations - finally, after all these years you have made a genuine public breakthrough."

Ohly has vowed to follow "a more thorough uploading review process" in the future.

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