Could Facebook have helped prevent Lee Rigby’s death?

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Social media giant Facebook could have prevented the death of British soldier Lee Rigby, according to a report from the United Kingdom’s parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC).

Six months before Rigby met his barbaric demise at the hands of Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale near the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich in May 2013, Adebowale posted his plan to murder a British soldier on Facebook.

However, the California-based company failed to inform authorities, said Committee Chairman Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

“This company does not regard themselves as under any obligation to ensure that they identify such threats, or to report them to the authorities,” he said, adding that the British government finds this unacceptable.

It is believed that there is a possibility the UK’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency, MI5, could have stopped this horrendous crime from occurring.

Prime Minister David Cameron criticised Facebook, saying that its website is being used to plot murders and the company fails to act on it.

In response to the ISC report, Facebook said that it has created an automated program that prevents users from sending or posting messages with inappropriate content. However, Adebowale’s plan to kill a soldier was only discovered after it had already been carried out.

“Like everyone else, we were horrified by the vicious murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. We don’t comment on individual cases but Facebook’s policies are clear, we do not allow terrorist content on the site and take steps to prevent people from using our service for these purposes,” it added.


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