Facebook has come under fire for failing to remove sexualised pictures of children from its website – and then reporting the journalists who brought it to their attention to the police.
Damian Collins, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, expressed “grave doubts” over the social media giant’s moderation system.
The issue came to light following a BBC investigation in which it used Facebook’s “report button” to highlight sexual images but found more than 80 per cent were not removed, with an automated response saying they did not breach “community standards”.
The images included under-16s in sexualised poses, pages aimed at paedophiles and an image appearing to be taken from a child abuse video.
Among the items not permitted under Facebook’s community standards is “sexually suggestive content”.
When examples of the images were sent to Facebook to highlight the issue, the company instead reported the journalists who brought them to their attention to police for sharing the pictures.
It subsequently issued a statement: “It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation.”