Facebook said yesterday it had removed several pages from its site used by Italian neo-Nazis to incite violence after European politicians accused the internet social networking site of allowing a platform for racists.
Seven different group pages had been created on the site with titles advocating violence against gypsies.
"The existence of these groups is repulsive," said Martin Schulz, Socialist leader in the European Parliament, which lodged a complaint with the California-based company.
"Facebook supports the free flow of information, and groups provide a forum for discussing important issues. However, Facebook will remove any groups which are violent or threatening," it said in a statement.
Italy's Roma, or gypsy, communities have been subjected to several attacks in recent months, while Italy's media has focused attention on violent crimes committed by gypsies. The government has dismantled illegal shantytowns where many Roma live.