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Facebook falls foul of Aus police, again

Editorial Staff

As if being accused of risking perverting the course of justice (and giving Australian police the virtual finger) isn't enough (story) Facebook has now caused even more annoyance by refusing to remove a page that identifies operational undercover assets in Victoria.

It is just 12 days since Victoria police obtained an order in the Magistrates' Court that Facebook must not publish material that may prejudice the trial of the man accused of the murder of journalist Jill Meagher. The Court accepted jurisdiction on the basis that Facebook has an office - and therefore a legal presence - in Australia.

Now there is another issue: two so-called "community pages" - which are subject to some kind of approval by Facebook - have appeared. One, "Vic Undercover Police Cars," has more than 26,000 followers; the other, "Victorian Police Booze/Drugs/Unmarked cars locations," created only two days ago has 250 but those numbers are set to rise following international media coverage of Australian reports that Facebook has declined to remove them after requests from Victoria Police.

The pages do not only cover their supposed aims with mobile users posting locations where they have seen both overt and covert police presence.

The pages are full of rants, trolling and extraordinarily offensive language.