Facebook must remove a page set up to monitor paedophiles in Northern Ireland after a High Court judge ruled in favour of a convicted sex offender. The social network has been ordered to take down the page ‘Keeping our kids safe from predators’ within 72 hours, as the judge ruled that some content amounted to harassment of the sex offender and risked infringing his human rights.
And this is as far as we are going to go on the topic of the actual page content, the court ruling, and the history of the parties involved. This blog is not the place to discuss the moral implications and to argue for or against the case being dealt with in the High Court. The issue we’d like to deal with here is that of Facebook pages being shut down.
Facebook have argued that it was unnecessary and disproportionate to remove a page used by 4,000 people, but the social network will have to adhere to court’s ruling.
Hundreds of millions of people use Facebook pages for a multitude of different reasons – promoting products, raising awareness for charities and causes, sports team admin and lots of other hobbies and interests. We often take for granted the fact that we can collate information, stories, photos, lists of people and more on a public service that is free to use.
Talking generally – not specifically about the case mentioned above – it is important to remember that these pages can be, and occasionally are taken down, often erroneously. If you are in charge of running a page for a company, brand or organisation, you would be well advised to make sure you have a mechanism in place to back up Facebook page content that is generated by both those that manage and those who use your page.
As an aside, you might be interested to read this article that details a few of the things that might result in your Facebook account being suspended or deactivated.