Facebook responded by rolling out a slate of efforts that, among other things, increased accountability for pages that post content that is "cruel or insensitive."
Speaking Saturday at the BlogHer conference in Chicago, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged the difficulties in policing abusive behavior among the site's more than 1 billion account holders. But she said tools to do so continue to improve.
"We have this really big challenge between free expression, which is really important ..., and creating a safe and protected community," she said. "We take both very seriously.
"The No. 1 thing people can do is when you find content that's inappropriate, there's a report button. Hit that report button because we can look at and take down inappropriate content as long as we see it, and (it) is really an important part of what we're trying to do."
Both the Twitter and Facebook episodes mark what appears to be a shift in online culture. Throughout the Web's history, a certain amount of bad behavior has come to be expected, be it intentionally provocative online trolling or earnest hatred spewed more freely because of the ability to do so anonymously.
But, in 2013, it's become nearly impossible to distinguish where "Web culture" ends and culture as a whole begins. Solis, the analyst, noted that as social media become more and more mainstream, bad behavior that would never be accepted on a sidewalk will increasingly be policed, one way or another, online.
"The idea of 'freedom of tweet' does not supersede law," he said. "Expression aimed at hurting or threatening someone is indeed a threat heard around the world."