Mob Moves In on Facebook

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

No, don’t worry, I’m not saying Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is about to be fitted with his very own pair of cement shoes. Rather, as just reported by the leading Flemish newspaper De Standaard (Italian mafia-leaders heroes on Facebook), it seems that the leading social-networking site has also turned into a sort of cosa nostra. Specifically, the article (attributed only to “VVE” – is this part of an author-protection program?) discusses the couple of fan-groups existing on Facebook dedicated to some notorious bosses of the Italian Mafia, including Toto “The Beast” Riina (convicted in 1993, currently serving 15 concurrent life-sentences in jail) and Bernardo Provenzano, his successor. (No indication that Provenzano is currently anywhere but on active Mafia duty.) These groups apparently feature member comments like “he’s an honest man!” and “people should kiss his hands!” and so come as rather unwelcome to relatives of past Mafia victims, such as Maria Falcone, also quoted in the article and who is the sister of the famous anti-Mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, killed by a bomb in 1992. On the other hand, Falcone and various other anti-Mafia heroes have their own Facebook fan groups, which the article reports always have far more members – tens of thousands – than those for the Mafia criminals. But still . . .

(€S readers are advised that, any Mafia endorsement to the contrary, there is no Facebook counterpart to this site or anyone associated with it. Nor are there any plans in place or in prospect for the same. Comments regarding hand-kissing or anything else, as usual, can simply be addressed to the e-mail link over in the right-hand column.)

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