Facebook has removed the profile pages of a number of prisoners following a request from the UK government. The move is designed to combat the growing problem of prisoners using the site to intimidate victims.
Justice secretary Jack Straw had discussed the problem with Richard Allan, Facebook's European director of policy, and said that the site had agreed to remove the profiles of prisoners who had intimidated victims and their friends and families.
"Facebook will remove profiles where it is reported that these rules have been breached. We will not hesitate to use existing law to tackle those cases where offenders seek to taunt or harass victims and their families," said Straw.
Facebook said in a statement that it had always attempted to stop such behaviour, and that its terms and conditions ban users from harassment or intimidation.
"Facebook is used by 400 million people worldwide, and we take their safety very seriously," the company said.
"We have a dedicated team who review all reports, and we continue to work on improving our systems to prevent the tiny minority abusing our site."
However, Facebook argued that, while it will do all in its power to stop abuse on its site, it is not solely responsible for the problem.
"It would be better for the Ministry of Justice to stop internet access at the source. If [prisoners] are not on Facebook they could be using instant messaging, email and text or internet via mobile phone," the firm said.
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