Facebook is under fire for failing to remove child exploitation images from their social network following an investigation by the BBC into Facebook’s reporting inappropriate content system.
Last year, the news organization reported that pedophiles were using closed Facebook groups to inappropriate images of children. At the time, Facebook’s head of public policy said they were committed to removing “content that shouldn’t be there,” and Facebook told BBC that they had improved their reporting system.
However, the BBC reports finding sexualized images of children shared on Facebook. Moreover, the vast majority of the social network failed to remove the content even after BBC reported it to them.
The BBC claims they used the Facebook report button to alert the social network to over 100 images that reportedly broke the company’ guidelines against pornographic and sexually suggestive content including images located on pages for men sexually interested in children.
BBC claims that of the 100 images reported only 18 of which were removed from Facebook. Moreover, BBC said they found five convicted pedophiles with profiles on the social network. As a result, BBC reported it to Facebook, but none of the accounts were taken down even though the social network forbids convicted sex offenders from having accounts.
The UK House of Commons’ media committee chairman, Damian Collins, told the BBC that he as “grave doubts” about the effectiveness of Facebook’s content moderation system.
“I think it raises the question of how can users make effective complaints to Facebook about content that is disturbing, shouldn’t be on the site, and have confidence that that will be acted upon,” Collins said.
Also, BBC alleges that they were reported to the police by Facebook after sharing some of the shared images to Facebook when the company asked to send examples of published content that had not been removed.
This news comes after Facebook is reportedly launching new tools to report fake news and misinformation. But, it begs into question the effectiveness of the reporting tools if the company cannot reportedly handle child exploitation on the social network.