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Facebook page comes down after threat to lawmaker

Posted at 7:02 PM, May 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-09 19:02:54-04

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A Facebook page with sexually explicit comments denigrating female Marines was taken down after a congresswoman who complained about it was threatened on that site, an aide to the lawmaker told CNN.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, made public a letter she wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos on Wednesday about “F’N Wook” and others like it, asking them to review them and take action.

A Speier staffer told CNN on Thursday the page was taken down after her office made Facebook aware of threatening remarks about her that the aide said appeared on that site.

The staffer asked not to be named because the Capitol Police have asked aides not to discuss the matter publicly.

The aide said Facebook did not confirm to Speier’s office that the company was responsible for taking the page down, but it disappeared shortly after the office complained.

“We cannot comment on specific pages on-the-record,” Facebook spokesman Fred Wolens said.

In the letter, Speier said the “humor” expressed on this page and similar pages … contribute to a culture that permits and seems to encourage sexual assault and abuse.”

The military has long been aware of many sexually inappropriate social media sites that claim to be administered by members of the military or have comments posted by military members.

But unless it can prove military personnel are actually involved in such social media activity there is little the military can do.

Capitol Police had no comment. A spokeswoman for Hagel said he would respond to Speier as appropriate.

Although there was no confirmation that the site in question was linked to Marines, a Corps statement said that Marines are responsible for all content they publish on social networking, blogs or other websites.

“There is no tolerance for discriminatory comments. It goes against good order and discipline,” the statement said.

Speier’s aide said a whistleblower brought some of the websites to the attention of her congressional office.