The BBC blew the whistle on Facebook last week for not protecting kids from online pedophiles. Shockingly, Facebook responded by reporting the BBC to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP).
Pedophile Rings Exposed by BBC Whistleblower
BBC journalist Angus Crawford claims that he set up a fake profile in order to expose online pedophile rings. He covertly entered online Facebook groups designed to distribute child porn and reported 100 images.
Astonishingly, Facebook only removed 18 of the reported images! The automated message sent in response to the 82 images that remained claimed that they were not in breach their “community standards“.
Just last year the BBC made an investigation into Facebook’s lax community standards. This investigation resulted in the arrest of a man who eventually received a four-year prison sentence.
Despite this, a year later, sexualized images are still being freely circulated on the social media network. Crawford claims that he witnessed conversations inside comments sections requesting “CP”. This is code for “child porn“.
Facebook Shifts Blame After Child Exploitation Exposé
Horrified, Crawford sent the images to Facebook, who in turn reported him to the police. Unbelievably, Facebook went on to issue a statement reprimanding him for circulating exploitative images of these children.
Facebook then canceled a scheduled meeting they had planned with the BBC, to discuss the matter. The BBC responded by sending copies of the images to the parliamentary select committee that deals with the media.
They also forwarded the images to Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
Government, Children’s Charities Shocked
All were deeply shocked that Facebook would allow sexualized images of children to freely circulate on the platform. Parliamentary spokesperson, Damian Collins suggested that there were substantial grounds to create a new offense: “knowingly failing to act“.
Facebook has failed to disclose the procedures they follow when moderating content on the site. Allegedly there is a team working around the clock, 7 days a week, policing the reports that Facebook members make.
But they are failing miserably to actually do the job. Only after this public exposure of their inadequate protection of innocent children, have they since taken down the other 82 images.
They also claim they have taken down 5 profiles of known pedophiles who were active on the site. Facebook claims a policy of forbidding known sex offenders from creating profiles on their social media platform.
Crawford had to blow the whistle to Facebook that these 5 pedophiles were freely utilizing the social media site for their own perverted gains.
This is also a pertinent reminder to parents to crack down on the images of they allow to have posted of their children online.
Psychologists who work with child sex offenders send parents an urgent warning that pictures they perceive as innocent could still be stolen and circulated by perverts.
Parents need to monitor the images that their young teens post online. Many of the pictures that these sick predators were ogling over were girls in school uniforms posing in sexual ways. Pictures they have merely stolen from these girls innocent Facebook pages.
The Media Must Take Responsibility
Unfortunately, the media still enables the sexualization of young girls in ad campaigns, for example. Clothing for girls even as young as toddlers is being designed in provocative ways.
The Australian grassroots organization “Collective Shout” seeks to draw attention to this perpetuation of child sexualization. Meanwhile, loud whistleblowing such as this by the BBC against Facebook must continue in order to ensure the safety of our children.
We must remain vigilant, to ensure that a strong message is sent to criminal sexual predators. Their behavior and actions will not be tolerated, and they will be brought to justice.
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