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3 Teens on Facebook 'Hit List' Killed

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By Jason Beahm on August 26, 2010 12:47 PM

"You Don't Get to 500 Million Friends Without Making a Few Enemies."

So goes the tagline to the social network, a highly anticipated movie coming out this fall about the founding of Facebook. The movie was adapted into a motion picture from the book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, by Ben Mezrich.

A recent case in Colombia further illustrates that Facebook is not just a place for friends, but also one for enemies. A 69 name hit list was posted on Facebook on August 17 by an unknown person. Three teens on Facebook who were on the hit list have already been killed. Columbian national police spokesman Wilson Baquero does not know why the list was published. "It is still not clear ... This is part of the investigation," Baquero said, CNN reports. Officials have noted that a criminal gang and a Marxist guerrilla group operate in the area and could be involved.

The list stated that the people on the hit list have three days to leave Puerto Asis or face execution. Police did not originally believe that the hit list was legitimate. However, in light of the killings of the teens on Facebook and the subsequent publication of a second list, authorities have held a special security meeting said Volmar Perez Ortiz, defender of the public.

The incident has many worried about online safety. While there is certainly room for concern regarding social networking, this case seems to be only tangentially related to Facebook at the moment. The list could have just as easily been published on a website on a town square kiosk. Nevertheless, it does serve as a reminder to take threats seriously, even when they are published on sites designed for fun and socializing, such as Facebook.

CNN contacted Facebook on Tuesday to try to get a comment but has not received a reply. Meanwhile the investigation into the incident continues. The Colombian community is understandably shaken by the killings and Puerto Asis is facing a panic, including some parents whose children are on the list choosing to send their children out of town.

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