Months After Newtown School Shooting, Facebook Finally Gets Around To Dealing With Scammy Tribute Pages

This is what the real memorial page for Victoria Soto looks like.

This is what the real memorial page for Victoria Soto looks like.

It’s been more than two months since the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, and just as long since heartless, greedy scammers immediately jumped on the event as an opportunity to enrich themselves with fake Facebook pages. Now the site is finally doing something about it.

Earlier this week, reports out of Connecticut listed more than 100 purported “tribute” pages to the dozens of victims of the Newtown shootings. As we mentioned back in December, some of these pages directly solicit contributions but have nothing to do with the families or the school, while others are set up to mislead well-meaning Facebook users into “following” the page; these pages and their built-in audiences can then be flipped and sold to spammers.

Now, with added pressure from the public and lawmakers like Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Facebook says it is working with the state’s attorney general’s office to remove these fraudulent and misleading pages.

“We also created a new, streamlined, customized process with dedicated staff to allow concerns specific to the Sandy Hook tragedy to be addressed directly and immediately,” says a Facebook rep, “while also recognizing that people across the country want to express grief for a terrible national tragedy. For the past few months, our rapid response team has acted swiftly to remove inappropriate materials flagged by the foundation and the families. We will continue to be vigilant.”

Sen. Blumenthal says his office has been in touch with Facebook about these pages, and that the company claims to have been removing the profiles before this latest round of reports.

“But the important part of their message is that they will do better than they have and work with my office and respond more promptly and fully to the families,” says the Senator.

Facebook to scrub rogue Newtown tribute pages from site [GreenwichTime.com]