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Facebook allowed South Sudan family to auction off 16-year-old girl as child bride: reportBy Emily Birnbaum, The Hill, November 20, 2018:
Facebook allowed a family in South Sudan to auction off a 16-year-old girl as a child bride last month, according to multiple reports.
The tech giant, which prohibits human trafficking on its platform, did not delete a post requesting payment for marriage to the girl until she was already married, CNN reported. The post reportedly went up on Oct. 25 and was taken down two weeks later.
The girl, whose identity is not publicly known, was married on Nov. 3 and has now gone into hiding in South Sudan’s capital, the information minister of the country’s Eastern Lakes state said in a statement, according to Business Insider.
“Any form of human trafficking — whether posts, pages, ads or groups is not allowed on Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, CNN noted. “We removed the post and permanently disabled the account belonging to the person who posted this to Facebook.”
“We’re always improving the methods we use to identify content that breaks our policies, including doubling our safety and security team to more than 30,000 and investing in technology,” the spokesperson added.Children’s rights organization Plan International found that the girl’s father received 500 cows, 3 cars and $10,000 in exchange for his daughter. Five men, including some “high-ranking government officials,” bid on the girl, according to the organization.“That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief,” George Otim, the country director for Plan International South Sudan, said in a statement. “This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets.”
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