What’s the right amount of time before speaking ill of the dead? For movie critic Roger Ebert, it took only hours to criticize the late Jackass star Ryan Dunn for drinking and driving. Facebook just as swiftly took the film critic’s page down.
Dunn had died in a car crash that also took his friend’s life. After Ebert’s post about the late Jackass star, Facebook pulled the page and put up a placeholder disclaimer saying that the site doesn’t allow pages with hateful, threatening or obscene content.
Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes told us via email, “The page was was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Before the page got reinstated, Ebert had cried foul play and attributd the Facebook page takedown to complaints by a couple of “jerks.”
Comments on this event ranged from freedom of speech arguments to calling Ebert names for his insensitivity. Many who weighed in agreed it’s wrong to drink and drive, but many said it was too soon to speak out against Dunn.
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has removed Ebert’s posts — most notably, the social network had taken his page down after he’d uploaded content about his jaw surgery.
One thing’s for sure: The latest controversy upped Ebert’s like count from 57,000 yesterday to more than 59,000 fans today, who were still posting mid-day to express their strong opinions on his very strong words.
Readers, do you think Ebert has the constitutional right to speak his mind on Facebook or did the social network do the right thing with the takedown?