Facebook Refuses to Remove Fan Pages for Colorado Killer

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colorado killer fan pageIn the days following the tragic Aurora, Colorado killings, approximately 30 Facebook pages that pay tribute to the killer have appeared. One of the pages, which has more than 800 followers, is written in Holme’s authorial voice. The following is a recent unedited post from that page:

“Whatever you have to say to me, I don’t care. Whenever you report me. This page isn’t affected. (I’ve been reported over like a billion times, and nothing has happened.) Also, I don’t believe in karma, and I don’t believe in hell. Please keep this in mind when you post. Unless it’s something smart or funny, please know, I’m just going to laugh at you and all you’re doing is wasting your time.”

Fred Wolens, a spokesperson for Facebook, indicated that the page “while incredibly distasteful, doesn’t violate our terms.” Unless the page posts credible threats against specific people or attempts to incite violence, Wolens said that Facebook will not remove it. However, Wolens did indicate that the page is not representative of Facebook’s views, and that the vast majority of Facebook users have shown support for the victims and their families:

“We are heartened that the vast majority of activity on Facebook surrounding this tragedy has been focused on helping the community cope and beginning the healing process in the wake of these events.”

Unfortunately, since these pages simultaneously comply with the terms of service and offend a large percentage of the user base, Facebook is caught in a difficult situation. If the social network removes the page, freedom-of-speech advocates will protest the removal. However, allowing pages to stay online that pay tribute to a cold-blooded killer is generating negative publicity and enraging a large number of Facebook users.

Do you think Facebook should allow the pages to stay online or remove them? Why?

Sources Include: CNN & Facebook
Image Credit: Shutterstock

David Angotti

David Angotti

After successfully founding and exiting an educational startup in 2009, I began helping companies with business development, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO),... Read Full Bio
David Angotti
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  • katie range

    I think they should remove it! Facebook is a social site to interact with friends etc. It should be a safe fun place and not show supported to horrific crimes! Facebook is showing support by allowing this to happen!

  • Guy Manningham

    This is the sole reason psychos like James Holmes do what they do is because they will get a taste of fame. The media and the societal rot of reality TV and pop culture propel people like this to act out. They then politicize it. It’s disgusting.

    • David Angotti

      While the publicity may be a motivator for some of these murderers, I think it is far from the “sole reason” they do what they do. I think the underlying psychological issues are more to blame and the reason for these types of attacks are multi-faceted and quite complicated.

  • souleye

    I’m not a great fan of facebook but I have respect for some core american values. if you’re not violating the terms of use, they would be hard pressed to find grounds to remove them. of course you have the backlash but hey, you cannot please everybody. so let them stand. they will eventually self destruct.

    • David Angotti

      It is definitely a complicated issue. I think if there were more transparency regarding who was behind the page it would be easier for people to stomach. The problem is the person that puts up the page can have their sick fun and not be held accountable.

  • Ian

    IMO its the shock value and negative publicity that provide the reasons for people to set these pages up. If Facebook takes them down with a load of noise, then that provides the spur for other people to do this again in future.

    I was taught as a kid to not respond to bullies, otherwise you just give them power. I feel the same about stories like this. Distasteful as this stuff is, I believe Facebook’s policy is right in the long run.

  • Melissa Fach

    Human decency. Where is it Facebook?

  • Toby Barnett

    Its a tough call, however, Facebook is supposed to be a happy place and that is one of the reasons why there is no dislike button. If Facebook allows such pages at least be fair to the populous that opposes those pages by adding a dislike or some sort of counter measure for folks.

  • Cendrine Marrouat

    All over America, people have claimed that “freedom of speech” is a sacred value, and that everyone should be allowed to express themselves. They have used and abused this right for a long time, so when they get a taste of their own medicine, they get on their moral high horses.

    Pages like that exist because their creators are looking for attention. If we just let them be and didn’t even react, they would stop on their own.

    Yes, the page is disgraceful, but what is even worse, in my opinion, is the fact that people take the bait every time.

  • alex

    First of all i think they should be gone but I dont know if you guys know this there are lots of pages supporting awful things like the Holocaust that a lot more people died in. I just think we need to be even about these things if one goes then all the hurtful things need to . Then wouldnt that lead to nothing eventually?

  • Norm

    What the hell is wrong with people? I agree with Ian, I suppose. Toby, I think a dislike button would have the same effect as a like button, in the minds of the people who set these up. Any attention, is attention. As the owner of the page said “I’m just going to laugh at you and all you’re doing is wasting your time.”

  • Michael

    If we want true freedom of speech then I suppose these pages have to stay. I do not however agree with the anonimity factor involved. It could also be argued that the content will incite violence, if anyone gets their hands on the person posting that crap.

  • Mark Russell

    There are a lot of pages on Facebook I find offensive. I ignore them. I suggest everyone else do the same.

  • Christine Flynn

    It is simple. Facebook should leave the sites up. if you do not like them, don’t view them. Ignore them and they will go away. I fell sorry for someone who is so out of sorts that they feel compelled to create a fan page for the killer. If Facebook existed when the Manson family did their thing, there would be Charles Manson fan pages galore. For all I know there probably exist some. I don’t use Facebook because I despise it for other reasons.

  • Alex

    Remove it, change your terms to include “We can remove anything we feel is inappropriate, at any time, without any reason”