Police tensions with Facebook 'inevitable'

Tensions between Victoria Police and Facebook will always exist, but a working relationship has been established after a meeting with the site's management, the state's police chief says.

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay met with the head of Facebook Asia this week over his concerns the site's users incite hatred and undermine the criminal justice system.

He raised concerns about hate pages with the potential to threaten high-profile prosecutions, such as that of Adrian Ernest Bayley, the Melbourne man accused of raping and murdering Jill Meagher last year.

Mr Lay said while the meeting was productive and established a working relationship, tensions between police and the social media website were unavoidable.

"I think we need to understand from time to time that there will always be tensions between Victoria Police and Facebook," he told Fairfax Radio on Thursday.

"I've now got a conduit to raise those concerns," he said. "We just need to work within each other's parameters."


Mr Lay said Victoria Police was working internally to educate staff about Facebook and its policies.

Facebook has previously said it would remove content when it violated local law, but Mr Lay said on Wednesday it was difficult to enforce laws when much of Facebook's content was managed offshore.

He had described some of the comments posted on Facebook regarding the Jill Meagher case as "absolute garbage", but said he was confident Victoria Police and Facebook now had a "workable relationship going forward".