Facebook has zero tolerance to images of child exploitation

Published: 06 December, 2018 21:03 IST | IANS | New Delhi

She added that we have to be much more responsible on digital media for the sake of young children

Representational Image
Representational Image

Facebook has a zero-tolerance approach for child exploitation images, said a top executive from the social networking giant here on Thursday. She added that we have to be much more responsible on digital media for the sake of young children.

"Young people are developing digital literacy at an increasingly young age, which means we have to be much more responsible on the digital media for the young children," Shelley Thakral, Head of Policy Programmes (India, South Asia, and Central Asia), Facebook, said.

"We have online safety experts from NGOs from all across the world, and we have zero tolerance to images that show exploitation of children," she added.

Thakral was speaking at the three-day 'Plan For Every Child 2018 - Girls Get Equal' national conference, organised by non-profit Plan India in partnership with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

In November, the social media giant was slammed by human rights activists for failing to remove a post in which a South Sudanese man auctioned his 17-year-old daughter to the highest bidder as a child bride.

As per media reports, at least five men, including the region's deputy general, participated in the bidding of the teenager. A man with eight other wives won the bid and paid the girl's father 500 cows, two luxury cars, two bikes, a boat, mobile phones and $10,000 in cash.

Facebook was also accused of encouraging grooming by offering teenage girls middle-aged men as 'friend suggestions'.

Teenage girls, as young as 13-year-olds, who join the social network are given upto 300 suggestions for who they can add as friends, some of which include middle-aged men who are topless in their profile photos.

However, Facebook said that was not a typical experience for teenagers signing up for the service and that it has safeguards built into its recommendation system.

"At Facebook, we are going great lengths to do everything to listen to our community and to be adaptive," Thakral said.

"Our goal is to ensure that everyone has the right to express themselves. We need to be able to provide them the right privacy and security," she stressed.

The conference that began Wednesday, saw experts from diverse backgrounds deliberate on systems strengthening child protection as a critical factor in the governance of any country.

The workshops and sessions brought out children's experiences and perceptions of safety at home, school and community.

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