Friday, 23 June 2017

Facebook ‘refused to remove child porn and terrorist propaganda’

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LONDON: Facebook has been accused of refusing to take down child porn and terrorist propaganda posted on the site, despite being made aware of it. Robust allegations made by The Times following an investigation claim the world’s biggest social media site could even be prosecuted in the UK, as some material was identified as illegal by a top barrister. Material posted by users and flagged to Facebook – but not removed – includes a video FBappearing to show a child being sexually abused. The Times also says it found a video of an Isis beheading, violent paedophilic cartoons, and a poster celebrating last month’s deadly attack in Westminster. None of the content was removed when it was flagged, but Facebook’s moderators did take action when the newspaper asked for a comment from the site. Many of the images and videos uncovered were deemed ‘illegal’ under British law by Julian Knowles, QC. He told The Times: ‘If someone reports an illegal image to Facebook and a senior moderator signs off on keeping it up, Facebook is at risk of committing a criminal offence because the company might be regarded as assisting or encouraging its publication and distribution.’ The newspaper said it discovered the offensive posts after creating a fake account and using it to befriend terrorists and paedophiles. And as a result of the site’s algorithms, Facebook suggested users should join groups that published the sick content. Moderators did not immediately address concerns over some of the content, including an official Isis news bulletin, that was left on the site. Evidence will be passed to the National Crime Agency and the Met Police. Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, said: ‘We have removed all of these images, which violate our policies and have no place on Facebook. ‘We are sorry that this occurred. It is clear that we can do better, and we’ll continue to work hard to live up to the high standards people rightly expect of Facebook.’

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