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To prevent uncivil debates from breaking out on its Facebook Page wall in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, the National Rifle Association has unpublished its Facebook Page, presumably temporarily. The NRA hasn’t confirmed that it voluntarily hid the Page from the public, but Facebook is refusing to comment rather than saying it’s responsible as it typically does when it takes down Pages.
The non-profit group that advocates to protect the right to bear arms in the United States has encountered intense backlash on social media since the mass shooting in Connecticut on Friday morning. Following the shooting in Aurora, Colo., in July the NRA got into trouble for an insensitive tweet. It’s taking a more aggressive approach to handling its social accounts now.
The NRA’s Facebook Page became unavailable to the public and began redirecting to the Facebook home page on Friday evening, roughly 10 hours after the shootings. The NRA’s Twitter account has not tweeted since the tragedy, but it remains visible.
Twitter only provides account holders with a more drastic “deactivation” option that deletes the Page entirely 30 days later. Since the NRA couldn’t prevent people from searching for tweets about it, and Twitter profiles aren’t set up as forums between other users, it’s understandable that the rifle association would leave the account merely silent.