Should Facebook Take Down Aurora Shooter's Fanpages?
SodaHead News 2012/07/28 20:30:27
The name James Holmes will forever live in infamy after the accused criminal murdered 12 people with gunfire and wounded many more during a midnight screening of "The Dark Night Rises" in a theater in Aurora, Colorado. Based on various reports following the shootings, it seems as though Holmes planned to become a real life comic book villain. As for other details, those are still scarce and getting inside a psychotic, cold-blooded man's head will be tough for prosecutors.
But getting rid of tasteless content in support of the Colorado shooter; that should be easy for Facebook, right? Not according to a report by CNN.com, which states that there are multiple fanpages for the killer, including one with more than 800 followers [or "likes"]. Facebook isn't like YouTube or message boards, where one can be anonymous. So unless they're using fake aliases and lack profile pictures, Holmes supporters are making themselves known publicly on the fanpage. Maybe they're Internet trolls. They could even be people with the same mental state as Holmes.
Regardless, Facebook won't remove the pages. Company spokesman Fred Wolens explained that the most popular Holmes fanpage "while incredibly distasteful, doesn't violate our terms." In order to be removed, it would have to post credible threats against specific people or intend to incite violence. We agree that free speech should be protected. But this lenient policy seems pretty inconsistent with the numerous stories we've heard over the years of everyday people having photos/content flagged and taken down, at times unfairly.
What do you think SodaHeads? Should Facebook remove the Colorado shooter's fanpages?
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