In mid-October, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a partnership between his office and Facebook to crack down on human trafficking, including child pornography. However, according to New York Post columnist John Crudele, the action was long overdue.
Back in 2012, Crudele started a campaign for Facebook to rid itself of pedophilia-related content after discovering a page called “Pedophiles Are People, Too.” However, he says that his efforts were “stonewalled,” and that Facebook cited the First Amendment for protecting even that content. Undeterred, Crudele began writing letters to Facebook’s advertisers and asking the public for help to put pressure on the site.
One of those members of the public, Staten Island borough president James P. Molinaro, wrote a letter to Toys R’ Us that he says got the full attention of Facebook. The site allegedly sent a representative out to talk to him and tell him that the issue had been discussed with Facebook’s board of directors.
“I gave [the Facebook representative] a message,” Molinaro said. “I asked him to bring back to his board of directors that what was being proposed [pedophilia] was a criminal act and not freedom of speech.”
While it’s certainly a good thing that Facebook has partnered with the New York Attorney General now, it’s both puzzling and troubling that the site would drag its feet on such a open-and-shut issue in the first place.