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No room on Facebook for fans of Berlusconi attacker (Updated)

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, December 16 2009

This weekend's attack on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi by a statuette wielding assailant tapped into some rising anti-Berlusconi sentiment in Italy, but that isn't the sort of bottom-up political organizing that Facebook is comfortable playing host to:

Facebook said Tuesday that it would monitor content on its Web site dealing with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy following an attack at a political rally that left him hospitalized.

“Promoting violence, or posting threatening content, is not permitted on Facebook,” the social-networking site said. “We will take quick action to respond to reports, and remove any content reported to us that makes direct threats against an individual.”

Facebook has shut down the largest fan page for Massimo Tartaglia, the man who is accused of hitting Mr. Berlusconi on Sunday with a statuette of the Milan cathedral, after it had amassed almost 100,000 users in less than 48 hours.

(Thanks Shaun Dakin)

Update: Italy's Interior Minister is, according to the New York Times, tying the attack on his boss to online animosity. Roberto Maroni is calling for "swift measures to block Web sites and social networking sites that incite violence."

(Photo credit: rogimmi)