Though the reasons aren't entirely clear yet, a much maligned Facebook fan page dedicated to accused Aurora, Colo. shooter James Holmes no longer appears to exist.
Reports CNN, the fan page for this "Public Figure," simply titled "James Holmes," first appeared on July 20, the same day that Holmes allegedly killed 12 people and wounded dozens of others in movie theater screening The Dark Knight Rises.
The page, prior to its disappearance, read as if written by James Holmes himself and featured disturbing jokes. One, modeled after a Jay-Z song, read, "If you like batman, I feel bad for you son. I'd kill 99 people and a baby is one." Another post of the page featured a photo of two distracted moviegoers telling other noisy attendees to quiet down, saying, "If you don't shut up, we'll James Holmes your ass."
Since its inception, the page has gained a fair amount of (overwhelmingly negative) attention from both media outlets and Facebook commenters. KCNC in Denver reports that on July 23, only three days after the shooting, the page had racked up nearly 450 Likes and that the anonymous author "posted a note that says the page has been reported numerous times to Facebook and 'nothing has happened.'" By July 26, the page had 800 Likes, according to CNN.
However, on the afternoon of July 30, the page (which had existed at the URL www.facebook.com/thedarkknightfalls) was apparently unreachable. Attempts to access the page redirect the user to Facebook's main page.
A Facebook rep declined to comment to The Huffington Post on the page specifically, simply stating that "while these particular Pages are distasteful and unpopular, we are heartened that the vast majority of activity on Facebook surrounding this tragedy has been focused on helping the community cope and beginning the healing process in the wake of these events."
On Thursday, Facebook spokesperson Fred Wolens had indicated to CNN that this Holmes fan page did not violate the company's standards, but that the company would be closely monitoring it. The page "while incredibly distasteful, doesn't violate our terms," Wolens said. Violations of those terms include hate speech, threats of violence, and graphic content, according to the Facebook Community Standards. Wolens told HuffPost on Monday that "unfortunately due to user privacy, we can't comment on the removal of the Page."
(It is possible that the anonymous Facebook user who created the page took it down of his or her own volition.)
At least one other distasteful fan page for Holmes is still up: the "James Holmes fan club," which has only 55 Likes.
In the meantime, while staring into this dark corner of the social network, it's important to remember that most of Facebook (and the rest of the Internet) is rallying around the victims. For a massive network of 955 million users, a page with several hundred or several dozen Likes is paltry.
To view a screenshot of the James Holmes fan page before it disappeared, visit The Daily What.
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