By Leo Kelion
Many of the messages posted to the deleted page had protested about its existence, Facebook has removed a page entitled “Soldiers deserve to be raped and murdered” – but not because of its subject matter.
The page was created last year and had sparked objections from members of the armed forces and the public,The site initially left it in place, saying it did not breach its rules.
However, Facebook removed the page shortly after being contacted by the BBC, saying a check had revealed the account holder’s details to be fake.
Critics of the company have said the case highlights concerns about its review policies,The page was created last July and had called on visitors to “support the cause in weeding out and eliminating this worthless breed of cowardice”.
Facebook’s Community Standards state that it will remove content where it perceives there to be a “genuine risk of physical harm” and that members may not “credibly threaten others, or organise acts of real-world violence”.
Some Facebook users warn that hate pages can cause tension offline
However, a spokesman for the social network indicated that the threat had not been specific enough for its complaints team to act on.
“Sometimes there is content on Facebook that expresses angry and unpleasant ideas but doesn’t directly target anyone,” he said.
“In such cases the page may be left up. However, we can compel people who post things like this to make their real names visible so they are publicly accountable for their views, On investigating this particular page administrator, we found they were using a fake account and we removed it.”