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Facebook to Remove Sandy Hook Posts, Connecticut Says

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. agreed to take harassing postings off tribute pages for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting after meeting with Connecticut’s attorney general about the sites.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who met with the company Feb. 24, said in a statement yesterday that the company would remove postings “designed to harass or intimidate” victims and their families.

“We’re continuing conversation with Facebook, and we’re monitoring the situation,” Jaclyn Falkowski, a spokeswoman for Jepsen, said in a phone interview. “Facebook has been extremely responsive.”

Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth said the company is working with the attorney general’s office, families and the foundation representing victims.

“For the past few months, our rapid response team has acted swiftly to remove inappropriate materials flagged by the foundation and the families,” Seth said in a statement. “We will continue to be vigilant.”

The Stamford Advocate reported Feb. 22 on dozens of unofficial tribute pages on the social networking site dedicated to Victoria Soto, a first-grade teacher who was killed in the December massacre. Soto’s mother, Donna, has complained about the pages and sent a personal message to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, the paper said.

Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty said in a statement yesterday that they wrote a letter to Zuckerberg asking that the company remove pages that have been used “to harass or exploit” the families of victims.

“Many give the appearance they were created by loved ones in the names of the victims,” they wrote in the letter. “Unfortunately, many of these pages have become vehicles for harassment, intimidation and possibly financial fraud.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David McLaughlin in New York at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at Jpickering@bloomberg.net

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