Posing as a 14-year-old girl on Facebook, a Daily Mail reporter was bombarded by messages from 20- to 40-year-old men wanting "to perform a sex act"—only it was really another social networking site, and Facebook is livid and threatening to sue over the misreported story. The author of the item, which appeared yesterday, said he was on another site and that editors added the mention against his wishes. Fine, says Facebook, but the paper was slow to respond and the damage is done.
The Facebook mention is now out of the title, URL, and page title of the article, though that is a recent development. In fact, intrepid surfers can still find “Facebook” in the headline through a Google search. A Facebook UK spokeswoman tells the Guardian the company is evaluating what “brand damage has been done," and stresses that the scenario reported is impossible. “Minors under 18 cannot receive messages from somebody over 18.”