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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Facebook refuses to shut rape page run by schoolboy

By Philip Sherwell in New York

Nobody knows better than MJ Stephens that rape is no laughing matter. So as the victim of a sexual assault, she was horrified when she encountered the contents of a Facebook page full of jokes about rape and violence towards women.

But worse was to come when the young American tried to argue with people who had attached comments to a page called: "You know shes [sic] playing hard to get when your [sic] chasing her down an alleyway" - most of them teenagers and young adults from Australia and Britain.

In sickeningly explicit terms, several of them threatened her and expressed the wish that she be raped again.

Such pages, full of ugliness, aggression and pornographic language are multiplying on Facebook, drawing lucrative user traffic to the social networking site.

Now it has emerged that one of the "administrators" of the page - users with the right to edit its content - is believed to be a British schoolboy linked to a network of hackers in Australia, Britain and America who have set up Facebook pages featuring offensive sexual and violent content.

Micheal O'Brien, a Canadian computer systems engineer who co-founded the Rape Is No Joke (RINJ) campaign to pressure Facebook to delete "rape pages" via petitions and boycotts, has tracked the activity on several such pages and contacted participants online.

He told London's The Sunday Telegraph that associates of 4chan, a loose-knit collection of international "cyber-anarchists" who champion absolute online freedom, including the right to share pornography, have founded and administer several of the pages.
The entire story can be found here.

Thanks to Gary Schoener for the link to this article.