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Facebook won't remove Raoul Moat tribute page

Social network defies calls from Prime Minister

Facebook is refusing to take down a tribute page to former nightclub doorman Raoul Moat, despite calls by Prime Minister David Cameron to remove it.

Moat went on the rampage in Northumberland last week, shooting three people. The spree sparked a massive manhunt, which eventually resulted in Moat turning the gun on himself.

The 'R.I.P RAOUL MOAT YOU LEGEND!' Facebook page now has 36,000 fans. While the page has messages condemning Moat, there are also many tributes to him.

"It is absolutely clear that Raoul Moat was a callous murderer, full stop, end of story," Prime Minister David Cameron said in the House of Commons this week.

"I cannot understand any wave, however small, of public sympathy for this man."

Facebook says it will not remove the page as it encourages public debate.

"Raoul Moat has dominated public debate over the last week and it is clear that there are lots of different and opposing opinions, both about Moat himself and about the investigation which surrounds him," the social network said.

"Facebook is a place where people can express their views and discuss things in an open way as they can and do in many other places, and as such we sometimes find people discussing topics others may find distasteful. However, that is not a reason in itself to stop a debate from happening."

The Prime Minister has ordered government officials to contact Facebook and request the removal of the page.

See also: Facebook mobile users hit 150 million

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