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Facebook to block Newtown bullying

Feb. 26, 2013 at 2:56 PM

NEWTOWN, Conn., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Facebook will block sensitive content linked to the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, the company and the state's congressional delegation said.

Many of the Newtown tribute pages posted to Facebook were created by relatives of the victims or survivors, but others were created by people with no connection to the tragedy, The Hartford Courant reported. Officials were concerned about the solicitation of donations, bullying and harassment.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said, it's not anyone's "responsibility to try to speak for the families other than the families."

Murphy, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, all Democrats, wrote Facebook Chairman Mark Zuckerberg Monday, the Courant said. The politicians asked the company to address concerns about "tribute" pages created for the Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.

Facebook said Monday it already had been reviewing the situation, consulting with state Attorney General George Jepsen.

"They've had an aggressive policy very early on," Jepsen said. "Soon after the shootings they were in contact with my office to make sure we were all on the same page."

"We've seen public reports and there have been private conversations with families that have indicated that Facebook could be doing better and doing more to protect against invasions of privacy ... harassing and intimidating posts or exploitive posts," Blumenthal said.

In December, a 20-year-old gunman killed his mother, then fatally shot 20 children and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School, before killing himself.

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