A troubled Marine veteran documented his suicide in a series of posts and pictures on his personal Facebook page, and when both veteran organizations and his friends tried to get the social networking site to take down the disturbing photos, they refused.
On Monday night, Daniel Rey Wolfe announced on his Facebook page that he would be taking his own life, and despite his friend’s efforts to stop him, he went through with it anyway. Through a series of disturbing status updates and pictures, Wolfe documented the entire process.
After his death, Wolfe’s friends tried to get Facebook to take down the disturbing pictures that showed his arms and legs severely mutilated, but the social networking site said that the photos didn’t violate their terms.
“We reviewed the photo you reported for containing graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our community standards,” said Facebook in response to one of Wolfe’s friends.
Douglas Tripp, a friend of Wolfe, said in a statement to Gawker that he didn’t understand why Facebook refused to take down the gruesome pictures.
“His friends and family were exposed to images they should never had to [have] seen,” said Tripp. “Who needs to see their son, brother, cousin or friend like that? They will remove a picture of a bare ass or exposed breast with the quickness. How are those more dangerous than a young man mutilating himself before he commits suicide?”
Finally, after two days of pressing Facebook to remove the photos, Wolfe’s profile was deleted from the site altogether. Gawker helped Wolfe’s friends and family in their two day fight to have the bloody photos removed, and as they point out, Facebook was less than compassionate about the situation.
"If someone dies on Facebook you basically have two options,” said a Facebook representative to Gawker. “One is to memorialize the account. The other option is for family members to chose to have the account removed."
It is not entirely clear if Facebook took the initiative to remove the account or if a family member made it happen.