Facebook has performed a textbook U-turn and closed a page calling for the execution of a football manager.
The page, entitled the ‘Shoot Neil Lennon Fan Club’, featured mocked up photographs of the Celtic F.C. manager as bullet riddled and bloody, and featured over 800 protests, with many of them urging that he should be shot or hanged.
Facebook chiefs had turned down requests to remove the page, citing that any comments didn’t pose a credible threat or showed any intention to assassinate Lennon. The social media giant’s stance spurred Belfast SDLP councillor Niall Kelly to enter the fray, and he contacted Facebook to request that they take down the page whilst condemning the fans who had taken part on it.
Many businesses and organisations use Facebook as a way of promoting their services and interacting with their customers. Even though they may be exposed to some negative feedback from their customers, many people in the search engine optimisation industry agree that it is a powerful tool that, if used correctly, can increase a company’s Internet profile.
However, not many businesses expect to receive bullets through the post like the embattled Lennon, and so Facebook reconsidered their decision. A spokesman said:
“We react quickly to remove reported content that violates our terms. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving people the freedom to express themselves and maintaining a safe and trusted environment.”
Other anti-Lennon pages, such as ‘Hating Neil Lennon’, were also removed from the site.