There are is bad taste and then there is revolting taste. This was a case of the latter.
A Facebook page titled "The Lac-Megantic Train Disaster Was Hilarious" was created on July 10 and quickly prompted anger.
The page featured photos of the disaster with captions like "SHE TOOK THE MIDNIGHT TRAIN GOIN' NOWHERE" and "YOU SMELL WHAT'S COOKIN? IT'S LAC-MEGANTIC."
After moderators initially declined to remove the content, Facebook pulled the page Tuesday after being contacted for comment by The Huffington Post Canada. The site would not comment on why it removed the page.
Comments posted to the page before it was pulled uniformly expressed outrage, with many encouraging fellow readers to write to Facebook.
Complaints submitted to Facebook initially yielded a response that the page "wasn't removed," according to several users. A complaint submitted by HuffPost Canada as a test received the same response.
Facebook has very specific standards about what the site will and won't remove. You can read the site's public description of its community standards here or view an infographic detailing the complaint reporting process here.
The Lac-Megantic page wasn't sexually explicit, violent, spam or hate speech (at least not under Facebook's definition which requires the speech to be directed at a race, ethnicity, religious group, gender, sexual orientation or people with a disability or disease). Complaints that labelled the site as harassment resulted in the message from Facebook that the site had not been removed.
Facebook has landed in hot water before for removing images of women who have had mastectomies while declining to remove pages devoted to pictures of scantily-clad women. Ditto with images of breastfeeding.
The site has taken down images that were not explicit in nature but that were deemed offensive to a group, such as this image of a woman's upper and lower body separated into two chunks in Photoshop. The photo was accompanied by the the caption. "Left or right? But you've got to tell us how you came to that decision."
For whatever reason, it seems Facebook decided Tuesday that the Lac-Megantic page violated its rules in some way.
The derailment of a train carrying crude oil in the small Quebec town earlier this month killed at least 47 people.
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