Part 3 of 4

(EXPLICIT CONTENT: This report contains graphic details of sexual abuse of children as it has appeared in numerous locations on Facebook. WND immediately reported images of child pornography and child sexual abuse to the FBI. Censored screenshots published are among the mildest of those found.)

Will child porn affect Facebook IPO?

In June 2011, the U.S. Department of State, in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, stated, “Whether through issue-specific media, or far-reaching platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the growing capacity of new media allows concerned parties around the world to connect and share information with a speed and breadth of access unimaginable at the start of the modern anti-slavery movement just a decade ago.”

Now, just as it’s about to go public, Facebook has expressed its intention to vastly expand its global user community.

“We continue to focus on growing our user base across all geographies, including relatively less-penetrated, large markets such as Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, and South Korea,” Facebook’s S-1 filing states. “We intend to grow our user base by continuing our marketing and user acquisition efforts and enhancing our products, including mobile apps, in order to make Facebook more accessible and useful.”

However, Bechard hopes another federal agency – the SEC – will take a close look at the sexual exploitation of children on Facebook before green-lighting the launch of the widely anticipated IPO that promises to make Zuckerberg the richest man in the world when adjusted for age.

A SEC spokesman told WND the commission focuses merely on securities laws. While he explained that he is prohibited from speaking about Facebook in particular, he said the SEC looks to see if a company’s filings have proper disclosures under those securities laws.

“We have regulation over securities and the disclosure of information behind those securities, but not regulation over the companies themselves,” he said. “We only have authority over certain things. The things we review on a filing under securities laws are a little different than what law enforcement can do. We have authority over making sure disclosures are accurate. We can’t comment on the individual reviews or the process while it’s being reviewed.”

Just months ago, Facebook finalized a settlement with another government agency, the Federal Trade Commission, after the Electronic Privacy Information Center and nearly a dozen other privacy and consumer groups filed a complaint with the agency claiming that the social network deceived its users by allowing personal and private information to be made public. As part of the settlement, Facebook agreed to 20 years of FTC privacy audits.

“The FTC and DPC (Irish Data Protection Commissioner) have investigated and audited aspects of our products and practices, and we expect to continue to be the subject of regulatory investigations and audits in the future by these and other regulators throughout the world,” Page 20 of Facebook’s filing states.

The FTC collects complaints about companies, business practices, identity theft and episodes of violence in the media.

However, when WND contacted the FTC to determine whether it had authority to investigate Facebook’s business practices with regard to prevention of child pornography from appearing on the website, an FTC spokesman refused to comment and, instead, directed WND to the Department of Justice.

Next, the Justice Department was contacted, and – upon describing the issue of child pornography on Facebook – WND was transferred by several employees to four separate DOJ offices.

WND asked a DOJ spokeswoman in the criminal division identifying herself as Alisa, if the Justice Department has ever investigated child pornography on Facebook. She replied, “I’m happy to check to see if we have information for you on that.”

Asked what Americans can do to stop the problem of child pornography on the social network, aside from reporting individual images to Facebook, she responded:

“Are you familiar with the DOJ’s prosecution of child pornography? We’ve taken down a number of online bulletin boards devoted to those types of images. Several of the cases that we’ve brought down are actually hidden from the public. So they actually go to extreme measures to hide themselves from law enforcement.”

She added, “I understand what you’re looking for, but I do want to also make sure you’re aware of the prosecutions we have been involved in.”

WND asked, “In the context of social networks, is locating this child pornography more challenging?”

She responded, “I will check with that and get back to you.”

The DOJ never provided the requested information to WND.


Read the full story here:


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