Palo Alto (CA) – Facebook is a common networking and social tool for teens and adults alike. Well, now Facebook is apparently stretching out even further, dipping into the world of organized crime.
In the last few weeks, the Italian authorities have started to investigate discussion groups on Facebook that are devoted to convicted Mafiosi. Authorities are worried that some of the group members could potentially be more than merely fans.
Simultaneously thousands of Facebook users are pushing for the removal of all of the pages which are pro-Mafia.
The anti-mafia groups sprung up after recent news reports that over 2,000 individuals had joined Facebook groups praising Salvatore Riina “Toto” – one of the biggest mafia bosses ever who was arrested in 1993 after he’d been on the run for over 20 year, and also his successor Bernardo Provenzano who was arrested in 2006 after hiding for over 40 years. Both men are serving multiple life sentences.
Many individuals feel that Facebook is “damaged” by allowing pages which promote and glorify the mafia.
Facebook as a whole has constantly encouraged free comment and idea exchange among its users. However one some of the mafia groups began receiving attention from the media, some of the sites were removed.
Facebook claims that they have removed as much mafia-related content as possible. But it was only removed if it violated its terms of service. Under Facebook rules, members agree that they will not use the site for anything unlawful.
At this point it has not been determined whether or not any convicted Mafioso, and at this point Facebook and Italian authorities are claiming that they have not found any evidence of criminal activity on the website.