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Outrage as Facebook bans woman after she reposts death threat


Hildur Lilliendahl Viggósdóttir has been banned from Facebook.

Hildur Lilliendahl Viggósdóttir has been banned from Facebook.

Hildur Lilliendahl Viggósdóttir has been banned from Facebook.

FACEBOOK has banned an Icelandic woman from the social networking site after took a screen grab of a death threat another user made against her and reposted it on her own profile.

Hildur Lilliendahl Viggósdóttir, a well-known Icelandic women’s rights campaigner, took a screen grab of a death threat directed at her by another user on their Facebook profile.

However, the social network’s terms of service do not allow users to take screenshots of and then repost Facebook statuses without the express and written permission of the author – so she has been given a 30-day ban.

Lilliendahl Viggosdottir, who works as a civil servant at the Reykjavik City Hall, has caused waves in Iceland with her popular Facebook album: ‘Men Who Hate Women’ – in which she posts screenshots of sexist comments made by men.

Stefán Heiðar Erlingsson, Stefán Heiðar Erlingsson, a fellow Icelandic Facebook user, publicly posted the following Facebook status update about the album, according to the Reykjavik Grapevine magazine: “If I 'accidentally' ran over Hildur, she is probably the only person on earth that I would back up over, and leave the car on top of her with the hand brake on!!!;) Put this in your 'men who hate Hildur' folder, Hildur Lilliendahl."

Lilliendahl Viggosdottir then took a screen grab of the threat and duly added it to her album.

Shortly afterwards Facebook suspended her account, prompting many Icelanders to question online why the largest social networking website in the world allows somebody to post a message which can be considered a death threat – but forbids anyone else to take a screen shot of it and repost it.

A Facebook spokesman said: "At Facebook we deplore bullying. However, we have ways of dealing with it that start with victims reporting the abusive content to us via our on-site links.

“Posting images of other people's Facebook pages without written permission – whatever the content - is against our terms of use. We made this rule because screengrabs are one way that bullies can try to bypass privacy and sharing settings. While the re-posting may have been well intentioned in this case, we need to apply our rules consistently to offer the best possible protection to the more than one billion people that use Facebook."

An online petition has now been created by Icelandic blogger, Eva Hauksdóttir, to change its terms of service.

Lilliendahl Viggosdottir, a 31-year old mother of two, said: “I have been reported several times on the grounds of screenshots posted in the album. So I moved the album to a Tumblr page after Facebook blocked me so that I could keep it open.”

A British website, The Everday Sexism Project, has recently been set up to document similar sexist comments on a daily basis. The idea has caught on across Twitter – with many people now regularly contributing to the collection using the hashtag: #everydaysexism.

Emma Barnett Telegraph.co.uk