Fri, Jul 16, 2010 - Page 6 News List

Facebook refuses to drop dead gunman’s fan page

THE GUARDIAN , LONDON

Facebook said on Wednesday it would resist members of parliament (MPs) calls to remove a page set up in honor of the British gunman Raoul Moat, the fugitive who shot his former girlfriend, her boyfriend and a police officer before killing himself after he went on the run for a week.

British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned public sympathy for Moat yesterday and described the gunman as a “callous murderer.”

Cameron said he could not understand “any wave of public sympathy for this man.”

Any sympathy should be directed towards Moat’s victims, he said.

Flowers have been left where Moat killed himself in the village of Rothbury in Northumberland, in north east England.

Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris, suggested Cameron should contact Facebook to ask it to remove the RIP Raoul Moat page.

Heaton-Harris said the page contained anti-police statements, which should be taken down. Cameron said he was making a “very good point.”

Facebook said it had no plans to take down the Moat tribute page, which has more than 29,500 followers, some of whom have attacked the police and Moat’s former girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart.

A company spokeswoman said: “We have spoken to [the prime minister’s office]. We believe the group is a reflection of what people are debating offline in pubs and elsewhere. When you have 26 million people on Facebook [in the UK] you are going to have many very different opinions.”

“Just because some people are saying he is a hero or a lunatic does not mean that the page should be taken down,” he said.

Northumbria police arrested three more people yesterday for allegedly assisting Moat, bringing the number of arrests to 13.

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