Internet

Fake Facebook profiles for bombing suspect get the ax

April 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM ET

via Facebook
via Facebook

One week after the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured dozens, the manhunt for the suspects is over, but bystanders continue trying to insert themselves into the story via social media.

Following Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's arrest on Friday, Facebook pages and fake profiles using his name, or variations of his name, are popping up on the social network. And, not quite as quickly, Facebook is knocking them down ... at least the pages that violate the social network's Community Standards. Facebook confirmed to NBC News that fake profiles and pages related to the Boston Marathon bombings that are in violation have been removed.

You can still find Tsarnaev-related pages and profiles, but Facebook search isn't the most efficient way to do so. As Daily Dot pointed out, a "People" search for "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev" turns up zero results, though a Facebook spokesperson told Daily Dot it would not confirm the social network had blocked the name on its search, only that the social network provides results "most relevant" to the Facebook users.

Sure enough, you can still use Google's site search function to comb the social network for "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev." But they're vanishing fast.For the most part,you'll get dead links to Facebook profiles using the suspect's name, alreadyremoved from Facebook but still cached on the search engine.

As with Aurora theater shooter James Holmes and now-deceased ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner — who also inspired an onslaught of fake profiles — Facebook's weed pulling won't end anytime soon.

At the time of this post, there were also profiles using variations on "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev." These include "Tsarnaev Dzhokhar," a profile dedicated to conspiracy theories about the Boston Bombing, and "Derek Tsarnaev," with the misspelled occupation "terroist," a page whose only explainable reason for existence is being offensive.

As with already removed profiles, these pages are no doubt not long for this world, chiefly because they violate Facebook's real-name policy. Pages that do not violate that or Facebook's Community Standards (containing hate speech, extreme violence, etc.) probably have a longer shelf life. These include a "Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is innocent" page, that had more than 2,700 likes at the time of this post.

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her she doesn't know what she's talking about onTwitterand/or Facebook.

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