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Facebook deletes page that advocated raping, murdering troops — but not for content

A Facebook page that smeared soldiers as cowards who deserved to be raped and murdered has been deleted by the social media website because its author hid his real name from the company — not because of the content.

"Soldiers are cowards unless they're in a group of a half dozen other drunk psychopath rednecks shooting at anything brown that moves," the deleted page read, The BBC reported. "Help support the cause in weeding out and eliminating this worthless breed of cowardice we have in our modern society," the site's landing page read." The page had existed since last July.

While Facebook does flag and remove content that poses a "genuine risk of physical harm," it was determined that "Soldiers deserve to be raped and murdered" did not pass the company's litmus test, a Facebook spokesman told BBC.

"Sometimes there is content on Facebook that expresses angry and unpleasant ideas but doesn't directly target anyone," he continued.

Facebook then confirmed that the offensive page was only taken down after BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tried to contact the page's administrator and could not because a fake name was used to start the account.

"Clearly this page was taken down because it was offensive, but it's very convenient for the firm to have an alternative justification — the use of fake credentials or, as we've seen in other examples, a violation of copyright," said Dr. Joss Wright of the Oxford Internet Institute, BBC reported.

Dr. Wright said he thinks that Facebook will continue to delete similar accounts on technicalities because to do otherwise would force difficult conversations on free speech.

"[Facebook] doesn't want to be put in a position where it's expected it will police its content because that could then turn into a requirement that is forced upon it," he said, BBC reported.

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