UPDATE (8:48PM EST): Fox News has made a few statements regarding the difficulties of moderating online comments to Yahoo’s The Cutline blog, which you can read here.
Just because a news network claims to be fair and balanced doesn’t mean its Facebook fans have to be. Following the appearance of Blair Scott, the Communications Director for the American Atheists, Inc., on Fox News’ America Live show, the network’s Facebook page was overrun with death threats and other violent commentary—more than 8,000 messages advocating rape, murder and crucifixion of any and all atheists, in fact.
Understandably, Fox News admins worked to delete the messages as quickly as possible, for reasons of common decency as well as keeping within Facebook’s guidelines of what is and isn’t allowed on the site. Neither Fox nor Facebook have commented on the postings or their removal.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.