Facebook pulled several Italian neo-Nazi pages from its Web site following a public outcry and complaints from European regulators that the pages promoted violence against gypsies.
"Facebook supports the free flow of information, and groups provide a forum for discussing important issues. However, Facebook will remove any groups which are violent or threatening," the company said in a statement.
The move is only the latest public backlash involving Web sites that knowingly or unknowingly host Nazi- or hate-related material. In a 2000 ruling that gained widespread attention, a French court ordered Yahoo to block the sale of Nazi items or face a possible daily fine of $13,905. The Internet giant ultimately banned the sale of such items from its Web site. Online auction site eBay came under similar scrutiny and subsequently revised its policy, banning the sale of all hate-related items on its site as well.