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BBC investigation exposes members-only Facebook paedophile groups

Facebook’s community standards have come under fire once again after an investigation by the BBC found that paedophiles were openly sharing images of young children via members-only groups on the social media platform.

BBC, Facebook

Such groups lie under the radar of most users as they cannot be searched for or viewed by non-members with functionality only being made available to those invited to join by another member.

Facebook contends that any material flagged by The Internet Watch Foundation as pertaining to child sexual abuse is automatically removed whilst any images which slip the net are subject to an internal review procedure to identify ‘solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images and offers of sexual services’.

Despite this the BBC found a number of private groups operating freely despite apparent breaches of these rules; including one group named ‘cute teen schoolies’ in which an image of a young girl in a vest was captioned ‘yum yum’ which Facebook judged to be not in breach of its community standards.

Presented with this case and numerous others Facebook’s head of public policy Risha Saha pledged to ‘investigate’ such groups and ‘remove content that shouldn’t be there.’