A controversial computer game which let members of the social-networking site Facebook "virtually knife" one another has been removed from the Web site.
Shank could be added by any Facebook member and appeared in the user's profile as a small knife with a black blade.
Once installed as part of the Superpoke! application — which is typically used to send virtual greetings such as hugs and kisses — it allowed users to "shank" their friends.
In a statement Monday morning, Facebook said that the shanking feature had been removed from the site. The program had been made available by Slide, a third-party software developer which had now removed the feature from Superpoke!, Facebook said.
British anti-knife crime campaigners condemned the application, details of which emerged barely a week after the British Crime Survey found that more than 350 knife-crime offenses were being committed in the country every day.
In London, 21 teenagers have been killed this year — the majority the victims of stabbings.
"The stupidity of having this on their site is unbelievable," said John Knox, whose nephew, the "Harry Potter" actor Rob Knox, was killed in a knife attack after intervening in a dispute about a mobile phone. "And they deliberately use the street term 'shanked', which is even worse. They are targeting the kids who are on street corners carrying knives."• Click here to read the rest of this story at the Times of London.