After Elliot Rodger went on a rampage Friday, killing six people and himself, fan pages glorifying the 22-year-old Californian sprung up on Facebook.
The social networking site has removed the pages, some as early as Sunday morning. But even as Facebook took down controversial pages, new ones popped up, illustrating the challenges websites face in monitoring hate speech.
Although sites such as Facebook and YouTube try to create a community with civil, respectful discourse, they are “often outpaced” by the amount of content constantly posted, said Danielle Citron, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Law and author of the book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
The Facebook fan pages, including one titled “Elliot Rodger is an American hero,” praise the killer. Facebook had taken down the “American hero” fan page, but another version of the page emerged Tuesday, which was taken down hours later.