The biggest problem with the child porn that hit Facebook is that 16,000 people shared it

Facebook Outrage

Around 5:00 pm on Thursday, reports started flying in about child pornography being circulated on Facebook. This isn’t anything new – psychos around the world upload terrible things to all of the social media sites every day. It’s a constant flow but most sites have protocols to keep the exposure limited and few people share them.

Yesterday’s incident was different. It was shared by 16,000 people according to a report on Buzzfeed.

According to one source, by 9 p.m. Thursday night, a pornographic video of an infant had over 16,000 shares.

For something like this to happen, it is clear that the original video had to have been shared by a very popular page. The only other way for it to go that viral is if it were part of a hack attack or a bot army, but those are unlikely as in those cases, there would be many more reports of the problem affecting people’s own accounts rather than the barrage of reports that it was present in their feeds.

What does it say about Facebook? What does it say about society. We’ve seen the best parts of the world coming together on social media in recent years and we have seen the worst parts manifest as well. Are the negative components of the world starting to win out? Are we really living in a society where sickening videos can become so popular that they can appear in hundreds of thousands of news feeds in a matter of hours?

Facebook issues a statement on the matter:

“Nothing is more important to Facebook than the safety of the people that use our site, and this material has no place on Facebook… We have zero tolerance for child pornography being uploaded onto Facebook and are extremely aggressive in preventing and removing child exploitive content… We are pleased that this material was reported to us quickly enabling its swift removal.”

For once, I’m not going to blame Facebook on this one. They do inappropriate things regarding privacy and security, but this is a statement about the human race. We all know that there are bad elements out there, but this is arguably the most disgusting activity perpetrated by people and for it to be shared so profusely and so quickly does not reflect well on society as a whole. One of the jobs of technology is to help us so we can be more enlightened, so there is less suffering, and so that we can advance as a society and a race. Yesterday’s episode shows we have so far to go.

Written by Scarlett Madison

+Scarlett Madison is a mom and a friend. She blogs for a living at Social News Watch but really prefers to read more than write. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
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