Tiff between Facebook and BBC on child pornography: FB protests on BBC’s allegation

Facebook has plenty of security features but they often fail to impose them correctly. Facebook has been slammed severely by many news channel and other agencies for its failure to enforce the restrictions on content that violates guidelines or laws. For example, child pornography is one of the atrocious practices prevalent in large scale. A recent investigation by the BBC and others unveiled that there are a number of pages and content in Facebook that are endorsing child pornography. Despite repeated complaints and direct information by news channel, Facebook has kept mum.

However, Facebook says that it has made large improvements in these areas but the reality, as shown by BBC is just the opposite. Last year BBC carried out an investigation and found out that the social medium is being used extensively by pedophiles and child pornography producers. When BBC journalists reported several abusive images, Facebook removed only 18 out of such 100 explicit images. BBC wanted a meeting with Facebook to which Facebook agreed under one condition they have to establish proofs of such images and pages. When the BBC complied with Facebook’s request to send the material, the social network responded by canceling the interview and reporting the network’s journalists to the U.K.’s National Crime Agency. Facebook reported the BBC to the police for sharing child pornography.

The BBC’s director of editorial policy, David Jordan, also expressed surprise and confusion at Facebook’s reaction:

The fact that Facebook sent images that had been sent to them, that appear on their site, for their response about how Facebook deals with inappropriate images…the fact that they sent those on to the police seemed to me to be extraordinary. One can only assume that the Facebook executives were unwilling or certainly reluctant to engage in an interview or a debate about why these images are available on the Facebook site.

Simon Milner, Facebook UK Policy Director said,

We have carefully reviewed the content referred to us and have now removed all items that were illegal or against our standards. This content is no longer on our platform. We take this matter extremely seriously and we continue to improve our reporting and take-down measures. When the BBC sent us such images we followed our industry’s standard practice and reported them to Ceop [Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre].

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