"Why on earth shouldn't they get facebook accounts pulled, whether they are updating them or not. One of the points of gaol is to remove the from society. If you can't take the consequences don't do the crime..."
This is my question too, except from the other direction.
To deal with the second scenario first: prisoners' Facebook accounts should not be cancelled if they're in prison and not updating them unless the court has ordered their cancellation or Facebook exercises a contractual right to cancel them (and that will depend on the TOS/contract between FB and the luser, obviously). The state can't just go around ordering destruction of stuff ultra vires just 'cos its owners are in prison. But if the court were entitled to order the cancellation and actually did so, then fine.
In the first scenario: if the prisoners' pages are being updated. Well, on one hand, it does seem to suggest they're accessing them from inside prison, probably from a phone, which is apparently common and against prison regs. But OTOH it's not necessarily a safe assumption: what if Knuckles McGee has just given his girlfriend Ida his Facebook password and tells her "tell everyone I'm down but not out" during her visit to the Scrubs? No criminal offence there, surely?
In the BBC article: "[Straw] said it might be possible to change the rules under which prisoners are freed on parole and temporary licence, to make it "explicit" that they cannot make use of sites in this way." Well...if the terms of the licence/parole don't prohibit using Facebook, and if the messages aren't harassing/intimidating, then what's the problem? And if they are harassing/intimidating, then they're already illegal. And if it's in breach of their licence/parole, then it can be yanked, so...?