Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rohypnol, rape and other disturbing content. Isn't it about time Facebook cleaned up its act?

"People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them."

Those are the words of Facebook itself. And there's nothing wrong with that.

But, unfortunately, it doesn't tell the whole story.

There are also people who use Facebook to bully others, to spread hate speech, to defraud, spam, and commit online crimes.

In October 2012, when Facebook reached one billion active monthly users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was "committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you".

If compared to the populations of countries, Facebook's more than a billion users dwarfs the likes of the United States, Indonesia and Brazil and is only outranked by China and India. In short, Facebook is colossal.

But what marks out Facebook for special attention is how it polices those many many millions of people.

A quick search on Facebook, using the most obvious of search terms, finds plenty of ghastly content that many good-minded people would find disturbing.

f you were a Facebook advertiser, how would you feel about your advertisement appearing on Facebook pages containing that kind of content? Is it something your brand would like to be associated with?

If it only took me a few seconds of searching to find content like this on Facebook, why can't Facebook search for similarly offensive phrases and take action against unsavoury content.

It's not as though only the only users of Facebook are broad-minded, unoffendable, adults.

Although young people under the age of 13 years old aren't allowed to log into Facebook, it's estimated that millions of pre-teens do go onto the social network every day. They, like the rest of us, can easily come into contact with this kind of offensive material on Facebook. They may even end up the victims of some of it.

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