In Fight Against Paedophiles, Facebook Needs Your Help

Facebook says it has measures to fight exploitation, but needs users to report pages that violate conditions.

2 min read

<!--StartFragment-->Screenshot of the Facebook page used for paedophilic activities.<!--EndFragment-->

For the last few weeks, The News Minute has been pursuing stories about Facebook Pages and Groups that act as meeting points for paedophiles. Following numerous complaints from activists and Facebook users, the social networking site recently blocked five such pages, three in Malayalam and two in Tamil.

The News Minute asked Facebook what they can do to curb such pages and whether the company has a responsibility to monitor such activity:

We fight hard against online exploitation of minors and have spent years building powerful reporting tools, partnerships and educational resources to help combat this abhorrent activity.  We encourage people to report content they are concerned about so we can investigate and take action against content that violates our Community Standards.
–Carson Dalton, Facebook Executive

Facebook India also added in its response that they work with international law enforcement and safety experts around the world to continually improve their operations and bring offenders to justice.

More than one billion users help monitor for and report abusive behavior and content.  We leverage this system to prioritize all reports relating to harassment or exploitative content, especially when pertaining to minors.

To summarise, Facebook is trying to say that it has measures to fight against online exploitation, but depends on its users to report if there are pages violating conditions.

Facebook Review Not Adequate

But one concern raised is that the pages in question were in vernacular languages and in most cases, Facebook would not block these pages if just one or two people reported abuse.

This is the main issue. When one person raises a complaint, a Facebook reviewer who inspects the page will look at the first few comments and not comprehend what’s happening as the comments are mostly in Indian vernacular languages.
– Sunitha Krishnan, Activist

Sunitha has suggested to Facebook that it should appoint vernacular reviewers to review written content of any reported page.

“Facebook got in touch and promised to review all suggestions placed before them in the next two weeks. But I believe such a crime is at a nascent stage in India, and we should nip it in the bud,” Sunitha added.

Facebook’s reply to The News Minute and Sunitha Krishnan implies the same thing. Facebook can take action by itself only if its algorithm finds pages violating community standards, but otherwise it depends on pro-active Facebook users to raise the alarm.


Read more from The Quint:

After Malayalam, Facebook Shuts Down Tamil Paedophile Pages

Den of Paedophiles: Kerala Couple Shut Down FB Page, #FreeYourMind

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