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Facebook campaign for Untraceable shut down

An online marketing campaign promoting the release of UNTRACEABLE by Universal Pictures is causing controversy after being shut down by social network Facebook (

In UNTRACEABLE a serial killer creates an “untraceable” website where he conducts violent and painful murders live on the net.

To promote the international release, Universal created a KILL WITH ME page on Facebook. The more fans the page received, the more of an extended torture sequence from the film was made available to view.

This was accompanied by a Facebook-only banner campaign, warning visitors not to visit the page in question.

Shortly after midnight last night Universal received a message from Facebook explaining that the page had been removed on the basis that ‘pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed’.

The Facebook banners have subsequently been redirected to The torture sequence is remains available to view here, and will continue to be extended based on the number of hits it receives.

Furthermore, if this site receives over 10,000 visits before UNTRACEABLE’s UK release on Friday 29th February it will be updated to show the entire first 10 minutes of the film.

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.”

The Facebook-ban follows hot on the heels of a controversial ‘Alternate Reality Game’ (A.R.G.) produced by Universal within live invite-only video-blogging community Seesmic (

The A.R.G. depicted a community member being abducted and violently electrocuted over a 48-hour period. It used a Twitter feed to create a digital ‘paper-trail’ leading back to

The decision was taken to pull the plug on the ARG after a Seesmic moderator mistook it for real-life torture and threatened to involve the authorities.

Following discussions between Seesmic and Picture Production Company (PPC), the creative marketing agency behind this activity, today’s Topic of the Day on Seesmic has been produced by PPC and asks the question of what a video needs to depict before the community should take action.

Dan Light, Head of Interactive at PPC, said: “This was always intended to be a provocative campaign. At a time when censorship of online video is high on the agenda, this has been a great way to bring issues at the heart of the film to life for audiences online.”

Useful links

KILL WITH ME hit counter

SEESMIC A.R.G. highlights

UNTRACEABLE official site

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