A Facebook profile that told the story of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs'
life in the highly graphical Timeline profile style was removed from the
world's most popular social network Wednesday afternoon.
The extensive and obviously labor-intensive profile, which was established under the name "Stevie Paul Jobs," used the recently adopted Facebook Timeline style to depict Jobs' life with status updates, photos, videos, employment changes and more. After some tech blogs publicized the Timeline on Wednesday morning, it disappeared from Facebook, but it then reappeared later in the morning.
After a request for comment on the profile from this newspaper shortly after noon Pacific time, the profile again disappeared. A Facebook spokeswoman responded to the inquiry after the profile was removed from the site, saying that the company would not comment on individual profiles and providing a general statement about its policy on requiring real names to establish a Facebook profile.
Follow-up emails asking if Facebook actively removed the profile in response to the original inquiry were met with a reiteration of Facebook's policy of not commenting on individual profiles.
A web designer in Singapore claimed responsibility for the profile Wednesday on Twitter, responding to the Mac-focused blog 9to5Mac with a tweet that included a link to a YouTube video showing off the Steve Jobs timeline. The designer, who goes by the name simonth and has the Twitter handle of @sim0nth, says he is a freelance designer of websites and iPhone and iPad apps; he did not immediately respond to a Twitter request for comment.
Jobs died Oct. 5 of complications from cancer. Apple has been protective of its former CEO's image both before and after his death, recently succeeding in blocking a planned action figure of Jobs by an Asian company with a series of legal threats.
The issue of enforcing the use of real names in social media profiles has caused controversy; Google (GOOG)+ faced criticism when it removed profiles early in the social network's existence for the use of fake names. Facebook's statement read, "It's a violation of our policies to use a fake name or operate under a false identity. Instead, we encourage people to create a page in order to establish a presence on Facebook as a tribute for a non-living person."
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