Boxing champion Amir Khan and his promoter Frank Warren are threatening Facebook with legal action, alleging that the site contains defamatory and racist material about Khan.
The pair’s lawyer, Stephen Taylor Heath, head of media and sports at Lupton Fawcett, said they had no objection to fair comment. But, he told TG Daily, “There’s a page called ‘Frank Warren fixes fights’ and references to Amir Khan that we consider racist.”
But while Facebook promises to remove posts speedily that are “abusive, vulgar, hateful or racially and ethnically objectionable”, Taylor Heath says the company has failed to do this. “We complained over a week and a half ago, and they haven’t taken it down,” he said. “They asked for the link and we provided that, but they still haven’t done it.”
In any case, he says, Facebook should be vetting material itself. “Facebook, YouTube and other sites have a policy that says if there’s a complaint they’ll take it down. As a journalist, you know the libel laws – when something’s published, the damage is done,” he said.
Facebook insisted it was doing the best it could. “We’re investigating and try to get back to people as soon as possible but there can be delays,” said the company in a statement. “We will remove racist content, impostor profiles and copyright violations when they are reported through the links throughout our site.”