Not so untraceable...

Promotional site for Untraceable condemned as obscene.

by Jennie Kermode

In case you haven't already heard of it, following its extensive TV marketing campaign, Untraceable is a film about people being murdered on the internet. The basic premise is that the more people visit the killer's website to watch the murders, the more people will die.

To promote this, Universal set up a Facebook website, Kill With Me, which showed a small amount of a torture sequence from the film. The more people visit their site, the more of the sequence will be revealed. They then took out a banner advertising campaign on Facebook, telling people not to go to this terrible site.

Controversy has arisen now that Facebook has banned the site. Unsurprisingly, it has resurfaced elsewhere and the banner ads, which don't breach Facebook's rules, have been redirected. Universal are protesting that this represents a form of censorship.

Neil Wirasinha, Director of International Advertising Media at Universal Picture International, commented: "We were prepared for the possibility that Facebook would take this action, but we're disappointed to lose the many fans the page was starting to attract. Hopefully they will pick up the clues to the new destination."

Facebook, however, have pointed out that their rules specifically forbid users from posting content which is "hateful, threatening or obscene".

Reviewing Untraceable, Eye For Film's Exile notes that it is wholehearted in its condemnation of internet users, suggesting they will always prioritise voyeurism. Interestingly, the response Facebook are receiving so far to their decision suggests that this is not the case. If Universal think it ought to be, it's difficult to ascertain what they think the point of their film is.

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