Facebook Fails To Protect Sexual Assault Survivor’s Group From Trolls

With over 2 billion active users, it’s not surprising Facebook has struggled keep bad actors off its platform. However, even private groups aren’t always safe from these trolls. According to a recent report from WIRED, a closed group for sexual assault survivors was crashed and destroyed by trolls who mocked the group’s members, threatened to release their private information and more.

The group, which was one of the most prominent of its kind on Facebook, went through a radical decline earlier this month when, according to former members, the administrator changed, new members were added and the harassment began. Some of the trolls threatened to contact the group members’ abusers, call child services or even publicly release the stories of abuse they had shared. The group has since been shut down and many of the troll accounts banned. But those who were affected say it should be easier to get in touch with Facebook when something like this happens.

“It’s a shame that it is impossible to reach out to someone in charge directly when a thing like this is happening,” one of the group’s members said. “The notifying tools are not sufficient.”

For now, it isn’t clear if the group was hacked or if it was deliberately set up to lure women in. But either way, it’s troubling that Facebook promises a safe space for users to discuss sensitive subjects like this, but doesn’t do the work necessary to make that a reality.