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Facebook denies removing Moat tribute page

Controversial page appears to have been removed

Facebook has denied it removed the 'R.I.P RAOUL MOAT YOU LEGEND!' tribute page on the social networking site that honoured Raoul Moat.

The tribute page, which this morning had more than 36,000 members, disappeared earlier today. Social networkers searching the Facebook for the page are now presented with a number of copycat groups that have just a handful of members. However, Facebook claims it has had nothing to do with it removal.

"Facebook did not remove the 'RIP Raoul Moat you Legend' Page. Facebook will remove content that violates our terms when reported to us."

While many of the posts on the page condemed the former nightclub doorman, there were also many tributes to him. This raised concerns from many web users and even lead to Prime Minister David Cameron to call for the removal of the page.

"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."

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.

Initially Facebook said it would not remove the page claiming it encourage public debate.

"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 social network said.

It is a possibility the woman behind the page, known only as Siobhan, removed it herself following a telephone interview with Ian Collins on talkSport radio earlier today. Collins grilled her for eight minutes and even called her the "stupidest" women he had ever spoken to.

See also: Facebook mobile users hit 150 million


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