Facebook’s Child Pornography Problem

An ongoing FoxNews.com investigation has revealed that Facebook is failing to prevent child predators from posting suggestive and potentially illegal photographs of children on its website.

The world’s largest social network employs content filters that automatically scan for basic keywords commonly associated with child exploitive material. Those filters, if they are properly employed, should flag much of the offensive material found on the site, cybersecurity experts say.

But in a lengthy telephone interview on Oct. 6, FoxNews.com took two Facebook executives on a click-by-click tour of their own website, bringing them face-to-face with some of its vile contents and forcing them to admit that their efforts to block child predators were not working.

During a 90-minute phone interview with Facebook spokesman Simon Axten and the company’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, the two executives were guided by FoxNews.com through the site’s seamy subculture – an encounter that left Sullivan sounding dumbfounded, unaware of and unable to explain the extremely graphic content on the site.

FoxNews.com found an entire underworld of widely recognized terms, code words and abbreviations on Facebook — hundreds of pages with “pre-teen hardcore” and “Incest” in their titles, and many others that are unprintable. Both terms were found on Facebook’s public, private, group and profile pages. Many of those pages purported to host video links to child pornography, and many had been active for months.

But the mass of pedophile content on the site would have been rooted out if Facebook were doing its job properly, said Hemanshu Nigam, co-chairman of President Obama’s Online Safety Technology Working Group.

“The fact that Facebook missed the most basic terms in the terminology of child predators suggests that they’ve taken a checkbox approach instead of implementing real solutions to help real problems facing children online,” Nigam said.

“To not be focusing in on a word like ‘pre-teen hardcore’ or ‘Incest’ means you’re not stopping the problem proactively.”

Read the entire FoxNews.com exclusive report here.

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