Police in Brandon, Manitoba are investigating after an anti-immigrant post was made by a Facebook page.
According to The Star, the Facebook page was removed from the site on Saturday.
The page's profile picture reportedly said, “I Hate Immigrants”.
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Staff Sgt. Greg Hebert said police received a report about the page last Monday and again on Friday.
“Most of the Internet stuff we deal with is still frauds, whether it’s Revenue Canada or Kijiji scams,” Hebert said noting that investigating 'offensive' posts was a rare occurrence.
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Facebook user Rhonda McCorriston said she reported the page when it was still active.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s spreading hate,” McCorriston said. “It’s not very good for Brandon and it’s against so many things that we as Canadians value in our multicultural society.”
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The police want people to contact them if they have any information related to the anti-immigrant postings.
This incident is very similar to what has been happening in Europe. Two weeks ago we reported that police in Berlin raided apartments and arrested 9 people for their anti-refugee social media posts.
UPDATE: Brandon Police issues the following statement on its website
The Brandon Police Service has an ongoing investigation into the concerns regarding a Facebook page referring to immigrants in Brandon and will continue to monitor this and any other “hate” related posting on any social media platform.
The police service investigation began in September, 2015 when we were made aware of the page on Facebook. A member of the Criminal Investigation Unit was assigned and he provided the information to the Forensic Computer Analyst at BPS who attempted to determine the originating IP address for the site as well as the identity and/or IP address of any of the members of the group. The page was also reported to Facebook by BPS several times through the complaints portion of that website.
Unfortunately, the replies received from Facebook indicated their community standards had not been breached and they would not take any action on the page. The attempts to determine the IP address provided only general inconclusive results. No specific criminal complaints were received from an individual or group regarding the postings on the page.
The Forensic Computer Analyst and Crime Analyst continued to monitor the site and found there were no active posts throughout the fall of 2015 and early 2016. Early last week, a new posting was made to the page which led to further requests to Facebook to have the page removed, which now appear to have been successful.
They add, “The Brandon Police Service will continue to monitor social media for any return of this page or other similar pages that attempt to spread distasteful messages about any group in the city.”
So, lets recap. They've been investigating this page since 2015 and even assigned member of the Criminal Investigation Unit to determine the IP address/identity of the individuals running the page.
Brandon Police also reported the page to Facebook, but even Facebook with all its love of censorship didn't think the page was offensive enough to be removed.
Exactly how much time and energy was spent trying to police social media posts?
This isn't the first time police in Canada have tried to police the internet for posts they may find 'offensive'. Earlier this month, the OPP Twitter account tweeted out that people should “think before they Tweet.”
Toronto conservative activist Stephen Taylor made fun of this warning on Twitter -- and someone from the OPP actually phoned him about it.
It must be nice to not have any serious crimes to deal with.