Facebook has been criticised for its handling of reports about sexualised images of children on its platform.
The chairman of the Commons media committee, Damian Collins, said he had “grave doubts” about the effectiveness of its content moderation systems. Mr Collins’ comments come after the BBC reported dozens of photos to Facebook, but more than 80% were not removed.
On its welcome page, Facebook says it does remove obscene material.
“Nudity or other sexually suggestive content” it states are not allowed on the platform. It encourages users to report inappropriate content via its “report button”. They included images from groups where men were discussing swapping what appeared to be child abuse material.
To test Facebook’s claim, the BBC used the report button to alert the company to 100 images which appeared to break its guidelines. They included:
- pages explicitly for men with a sexual interest in children
- images of under-16s in highly sexualised poses, with obscene comments posted beside them
- groups with names such as “hot xxxx schoolgirls” containing stolen images of real children
- an image that appeared to be a still from a video of child abuse, with a request below it to share “child pornography”
Of the 100 images, only 18 were removed.
According to Facebook’s automated replies, the other 82 did not breach “community standards”. They included the apparent video still.
Facebook’s rules also forbid convicted sex offenders from having accounts. But the BBC found five convicted paedophiles with profiles, and reported them to Facebook via its own system. None of them were taken down.
If You Are Affected, Or Need Further Information
Anyone who is concerned about sexualised images of children online can get further information and report the images to Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP).
You can also report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF).
Child Sexual Exploitation is happening in Warwickshire.
Something’s Not Right is the acclaimed multi agency child sexual exploitation campaign and continues to raise awareness of CSE and offer support in Warwickshire. The campaign encourages people to think about situations they may see or be involved in on a daily basis and if Something’s Not Right seek professional advice and guidance.