Facebook has refused to take down a page called “Pedophiles are People Too” that features a disturbing image of a young girl being followed down an alley by a grown man. Instead of removing it, Facebook added a “Controversial Humor” tag to the page.
“We should not be giving people like this an audience and a platform,” said Jetta Bernier, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Children, to the Boston Herald. “We cannot normalize this behavior. It is too devastating to children.”
Facebook, for its part, has maintained its party line that any “humorous” content, no matter how offensive, can remain on its site. However, given Facebook’s recent troubles on the market, many experts are questioning the company’s stubbornness and hesitancy in the face of public pressure.
“What this company badly needs to do is rebuild public faith, and to have this kind of thing in their virtual public square is absolutely deleterious to their desirability,” said Max Wolff, a senior analyst at Greencrest Capital in an interview with the Herald. “Facebook is a place with a disproportionate number of young people, and parents have had longstanding concerns about predation online, and this certainly does not allay those fears.”
It will be interesting to see if Facebook changes its policy regarding what it considers satire. The social media giant has come under fire several times lately for refusing to take down offensive pages it has deemed “humorous.”
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