Problem

In recent years, Facebook has taken measures to curb exploitation, but they have a long way to go as the world’s most popular social networking site. It has become a top place to trade pornography and child pornography, as well as a place of prostitution and sex trafficking.

Most urgently, we are concerned about Facebook’s plans and efforts to roll out sweeping encryption which would aid child abusers and sex traffickers from detection and accountability by law enforcement.

In 2019, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that they planned to pursue planned end-to-end encryption for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

FB Announcement: https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/a-privacy-focused-vision-for-social-networking/10156700570096634/

Zuckerberg conceded:

When billions of people use a service to connect, some of them are going to misuse it for truly terrible things like child exploitation, terrorism, and extortion. We have a responsibility to work with law enforcement and to help prevent these wherever we can. We are working to improve our ability to identify and stop bad actors across our apps by detecting patterns of activity or through other means, even when we can’t see the content of the messages, and we will continue to invest in this work. But we face an inherent tradeoff because we will never find all of the potential harm we do today when our security systems can see the messages themselves.

This means that Facebook is knowingly accepting that crimes, including child sexual abuse, will increase on Facebook as a result of their encryption policy.

In response to this threat to public safety, law enforcement leaders from America, the United Kingdom, and Australia have sent Facebook an open letter publicly opposing Facebook’s actions.

In 2018, media reports note that Facebook reported 16.8 million instances of child sexual exploitation and abuse on their platform to the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tragic reality is that if these reports are not sent, millions of children will be at risk by their abusers.

As stated by Cyrus R Vance, District Attorney for New York County, “Simply put, Facebook’s planned end-to-end encryption will make it harder to detect – and stop – child abuse and similar crimes… A world in which children can be recruited and groomed on Facebook – with no hope of law enforcement intervention – is a world in which we, collectively, are failing our children.”

Proof

Warning: There is graphic language and images displayed within the “names of pages” and “screenshots” proof categories. Only click to view if you need further proof that these things are happening on Facebook.



Take Action

Visit Facebook’s Safety Center

Learn more about safety on Facebook for adults and children by checking out their Safety Center here and joining their @FBSafety page for regular updates.

Report It

Report suspected child pornography and other exploitive content to the proper authorities. Please do not seek to police the site on your own, but if you stumble across such content, please consider these steps:

  1. Report it to Facebook – Here’s how!
  2. Report it to the CyberTipline at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
  3. Report it to your local FBI office

Protect Your Home

    • Monitor your children’s use of the Internet and especially of social media platforms. Regularly have conversations with them about possible content they might encounter and about Internet safety.
    • Use tools! Use built-in parental controls where possible; install filter and accountability software on connected devices; etc.
    • Make sure your friends and family are aware of the dangers on Facebook and take action to protect against them. Encourage their involvement of these efforts to hold Facebook accountable for better enforcement of their policies.

Share your STORY

Personal stories help elected and business leaders to see the grave harm associated with this material and can be very helpful in getting them to change their policies. All will be shared anonymously. Please email your story to public@ncose.com.

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Updates

Encryption Blocked Justice for This Sex Trafficking Case, These Companies Don’t Care

Below is an excerpt from the written testimony of New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary in December 2019. The single most important criminal justice challenge in the last ten years is, in my opinion, the use of mobile devices by bad actors to…

ARTICLE: Facebook is still failing to remove images of child exploitation, investigation reveals

Original Post: The Verge A BBC investigation has revealed that Facebook users are continuing to exchange sexualized images of children through online groups, and the social network has come under criticism for failing to remove the obscene content. Of the 100 images that the BBC reported, Facebook removed only 18, saying that the remaining 82…

Podcast Episode: Does Facebook Facilitate Sex Trafficking?

We think of sex trafficking as only occurring in dingy dungeons, but really so much of it has moved online – it’s a digital age – you no longer need to “know a guy” or go to the seedy side of town to have access to information about buying sex – now access to what…

Dirty Dozen List of Top Sexual Exploiters Announced

National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Morality in Media (MIM) announce the 2015 Dirty Dozen List, a compilation of leading contributors to sexual exploitation in America. The list offers actions that the public can take to persuade the Dirty Dozen to change policies and practices.

Morality in Media Launches Annual Dirty Dozen List for 2014

The 2014 Dirty Dozen List highlights offenders with an explanation of how they contribute to a culture of sexual exploitation.

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