Facebook shuts down page featuring drunken UA students

2013-10-31T00:00:00Z 2013-11-20T20:11:43Z Facebook shuts down page featuring drunken UA studentsBy Carol Ann Alaimo Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

An online site that celebrated alcohol abuse among University of Arizona students has been shut down by Facebook amid safety concerns raised by campus officials.

The page, which featured photos taken surreptitiously of students heaving over toilets or passed out on pavement, shows how public such behavior can become in the age of social media and cellphone cameras.

Until Wednesday, nearly 2,500 followers were logging in to view images of unnamed students photographed at their worst by fellow partygoers.

UA officials believe a student or students set up the Facebook page, although the site itself didn’t say so and was run anonymously.

The page was deemed a potential safety threat because those it depicted seemed so drunk they may have needed medical aid, but were mocked instead of helped.

“We’ve been very concerned about it,” said David Salafsky, a campus health official who works with UA’s Alcohol Prevention Coalition.

On Tuesday, the coalition emailed a complaint letter to a Gmail address included on the site.

“We invite you to help your friends rather than exploiting the situation,” said the letter, which relayed the warning signs of alcohol poisoning.

As of midday Wednesday, the site was still posting photos. That ended Wednesday afternoon shortly after the Arizona Daily Star contacted Facebook for comment.

Facebook spokesman Matt Steinfeld said the site was taken down because it violated the social media giant’s community standards.

Those rules don’t allow pages that promote or encourage self-harm or that publish the personal information of others without their consent. The standards also require page creators to use their real names and identities.

To report a concern about Facebook content, go to facebook.com and type How to Report Things into the search box.

Reporter Carol Ann Alaimo can be reached at calaimo@azstarnet.com or at 573-4138.

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