Facebook removes Italian neo-Nazi pages

Social-networking company pulls several pages following complaints from European regulators that the pages promoted violence against gypsies.

Desiree DeNunzio Editor
Desiree DeNunzio is the gift guide editor for CNET's Commerce team. When she's not writing and editing, she's either hiking through the redwoods or curled up with a good book and a lazy dog.
Expertise Desiree has been a writer and editor for the past two decades, covering everything from top-selling Amazon deals to apparel, pets and home goods. Credentials
  • Desiree's previous work has appeared in various print and online publications including Search Engine Land, PCWorld, Wired magazine and PBS MediaShift.
Desiree DeNunzio

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.

Seven different group pages, all based in Italy, had been created on the site with titles that incited violence against gypsies, according to a Reuters report. The European Parliament filed a complaint with Facebook, and the pages were promptly removed. Facebook told Reuters that the pages violated its terms of use.

"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.