London: Social networking giant Facebook has refused to remove a controversial page that has been heavily criticized for making jokes about rape.
The group page, called “You know she``s playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway”, has 194,370 likes on Facebook.
But victim support groups have called the page “disgusting,” and said that it trivialises and jokes about rape.
Many victim support charities have started a petition calling for the page to be removed, and have claimed that the page breaches the social network’s own rules that forbids users from posting content that is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
Facebook has, however, refused to take it down saying the site wanted to ‘allow freedom of expression,’ the BBC reports.
“It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining, just as telling a rude joke won``t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won``t get you thrown off Facebook,” a statement said.
“Groups or pages that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs - even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some - do not by themselves violate our policies,” the statement said.
“These online discussions are a reflection of those happening offline, where conversations happen freely in people``s homes, in cafes and on the telephone,” it added.
Meanwhile, some of the big companies, such as Sony, American Express and BlackBerry, which pay Facebook to advertise on the social networking site have asked for their adverts to be removed from the group.