Wed, Jan 21st 2009 8:34pm
Sicilian police are moving into some new territory in their ongoing fight against the Mafia: Facebook. They're keeping tabs on several groups devoted to convicted Mafia members, suspicious that they're online gathering places for people interested in more than just some harmless social networking. There have also been calls in Italy for Facebook to shut down the groups, which it hasn't yet done, while Facebook groups protesting the Mafia groups have also sprouted up -- illustrating that the ideal response to speech some people find offensive is more speech. But the groups are also exposing the dangerous path that Facebook and other site owners start down if they begin removing material that some people find offensive, but isn't illegal. One of the anti-Mafia groups is called "Yes to Breasts, No to Totò Riina," highlighting the fact that Facebook recently removed pictures of breast-feeding mothers, but has let the pages touting the Mafia members stand.
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