It used to be that people could only join Facebook if they were in college. It was a strictly collegiate resource and was created for the sole purpose of communication. However, today Facebook is used not just for connecting people but also for publicity, business, stalking and of course common interest groups. It seems, in theory, that these groups are a positive addition to the Facebook phenomenon, allowing people with similar interests to come together and discuss in an organized forum. However, since Facebook does draw from a wide array of people, sometimes some not-so-tasteful groups are represented on the site.
Facebook’s latest scandal deals with a group that calls themselves NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association, a.k.a. the epitome of creepy). Essentially what this group aims to do is support the legalization of sexual relationships between male adults and male minors. On top of this, pictures of young boys were posted on the site. The pictures were not of the children doing anything inappropriate, however the underlying meaning of the photos posted leaves me (and surely many others) with an unsettling feeling. Facebook found out about this group and quickly deleted it from the site.
While I agree that this particular interest group is sickening and vulgar, the bottom line is that these derranged men technically have not done anything illegal. Supporting something that is illegal is not the same as actually committing the crime. Therefore, the question becomes: does Facebook truly have the right to delete the group and therefore silence the group members’ voices?