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Elsewhere – Facebook deletes anti-Jesus group

(U-WIRE) BATON ROUGE, La.-Erik Browne doesn’t hate Jesus. He simply said he doesn’t believe in someone whom he called a legend and “potentially mythological figure.”

But when the atheist created an “I Hate Jesus” group on facebook.com, someone thought he took things too far, and Facebook terminated the roughly 15-member group more than a year after its creation because it was a hatred group and violated the Web site’s terms of use.

Browne, philosophy junior, said he does not think religious icons should be immune to criticism. He said he created the controversial group in Dec. 2004 as a joke.

“It was not a group specifically for hatred. It was a satirical group,” he said. “The strongest word was ‘hate’ in the title and nothing else.”

Browne, president of the University student organization Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics, said some Christians joined the group only to post messages on the public message board.

“The most hateful comments came from them,” he said. “We got condemned to hell.”

Facebook informed Browne by e-mail that his group was deleted because it violated the site’s terms of use. For students to join Facebook, they must agree to follow all the terms.

Browne responded to Facebook’s e-mail asking how he violated the terms and explaining the group was meant to be humorous.

But the site’s terms of use state users must not make available any content deemed to be hateful.

January 31, 2006

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