Aug 21, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(NY POST) Facebook is refusing to take down a page on its website dedicated to pedophilia.
At the top of the page is a close-up shot of a very young girl walking alone down an alleyway. In the distant background is a blurry picture of a man with an open trench coat. His hands are in his pockets.
Under the picture are the words: “Pedophiles are people too.” In smaller letters is: “It’s all in the title.” The person who created this page on Aug. 14 doesn’t appear to have included any text, and there are no suggestive pictures of either children or grown-ups.But 21 people have “liked” the page and hundreds have engaged in conversations about pedophilia, or sex with children. Many of the people responding were appalled that the page still exists.
One freak wrote: “You know you [sic] skilled when you can fit 10 kids in 1 self storage box.” To that comment, a guy who identified himself as Mike Haney replied, “Who the hell would EVER [his emphasis] make a group like this? Come to my house and I’ll show you much lead a pedophile can hold.”
Joe Mazzilli, a private investigator in New York City, reported the pedophile page to Facebook last Friday. Mazzilli is a decorated former NYPD detective who now works as a child advocate and tracks down missing and abused children.
“I think it’s disgusting,” Mazzilli told me in a phone interview. “Where do you draw the line? This is encouraging sexual acts that could lead to the deaths of minors.”
This was Facebook’s e-mailed reply to Mazzilli: “Hi, Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we are not able to confirm that the specific page violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.” It was signed “Vicki.”
The company also attached a copy of its standards, which deal with topics like Violence and Threats: Self-Harm, Bullying and Harassment; Hate Speech; Graphic Content, Nudity and Pornography; and others.
Mazzilli, who has been a source for me before, said he urged others to complain to Facebook, and they all got the same response.
“If Facebook doesn’t understand the logic to remove this, I would urge everyone to stop using Facebook and use an alternative. Maybe then they will understand,” Mazzilli said.
When I e-mailed Facebook about the page, the company said it would get back to me as quickly as possible. It hadn’t by deadline.
Facebook, of course, is the premier social media website and is used by 955 million people and thousands of advertisers. It sold stock to the public for the first time in May but shares now sell for about half the $38 debut price.
Since the initial public offering, investors have shown concern that growth is slowing, especially as folks move to mobile devices from computers. Experts think smartphones are less compatible with Facebook’s format.
And they fear advertisers that use Facebook online will be less likely to put their ads on the company’s smartphone app.
The company is known for having strict rules to control its users. But social networking is the Wild West of computing, and it’s difficult for any company to monitor what all its members are doing.
Still, you would expect Facebook to react more diligently to a posting that declares “pedophiles are people too,” especially when it encourages comments like: “What’s better then [sic] f–king a 9-year-old.”
To that, one viewer of the page wrote: “You sick POS where do you live, your [sic] f–cking lucky I don’t know cause I believe all pedophiles need to f–king DIE . . . Give me your address.”
Violence and threats, bullying, harassment, hate speech, graphic content? Why doesn’t Facebook shut this page down? Why is a public company allowing this sort of trash?
And why would investors already learning to dislike Facebook put up with this?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may wear a hoodie, but it shouldn’t be pulled so far over his head that he can’t see what’s going on with his site.
I’m sure law enforcement is already looking at this page. Maybe if many voices are raised, Zuckerberg will hear the roar in his Palo Alto, Calif., home.