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Conn. Lawmakers Pressure Facebook To Remove ‘Exploitative’ Pages In Newtown Victims’ Names

Facebook homepage (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook homepage (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Tragedy In Newtown

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Facebook has taken down pages exploiting two Newtown victims, after Connecticut’s two senators and a congressman wrote a letter to the social networking site.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said about 100 so-called tribute pages were made in the name of Sandy Hook Elementary School first grade teacher Victoria Soto, who was killed trying to shield her students as gunman Adam Lanza opened fire inside her classroom.

Blumenthal said there were unauthorized appeals for donations for Soto’s family and for shooting rampage survivor Kaitlin Roig.

“A number of families contacted me about this issue and we’ve been in discussions with Facebook and finally sent this letter which, fortunately, they heeded,” Blumenthal told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

In the letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Sens. Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Etsy blasted Facebook for allowing pages that violated its own “community standards” rules.

“Their rules correctly prohibit exactly these kinds of invasive and exploitative pages,” said Blumenthal.

The Facebook tribute pages gave the false impression that they were created by friends or family. One of the pages even linked Soto and Roig with Satan, Schneidau reported.

The lawmakers said the pages have been used to exploit or harass the families of the victims of the Dec. 14 shooting rampage and could be used in financial fraud.

It remains unclear who posted the pages.

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