It has been revealed that Facebook allowed a Muslim account owner to use his Facebook page to auction off a teen girl for an arranged marriage. And Facebook says conservatives are evil?
Arranged marriages are common in the Muslim culture of South Sudan, but with the advent of the Internet the practice has gotten farther afield than local communities and human rights organizations worry that too many young girls are being treated like commodities to be sold on the Internet for great personal gain in that African nation.
Such is the case with a Muslim man who was “auctioning” a teenaged girl on his Facebook page. And despite being warned about the outrage, Facebook refused to stop the sale of the girl or punish the page owner in any way.
According to NewsBusters:
In South Sudan, according to Voice of America News, an online auction was being held for marriage rights to a 16 year old girl. South Sudan’s National Alliance for Women Lawyers called the action “a gross human rights violation” which “violates the rights of a girl.” On Facebook, several posts followed the auction. The original poster called the situation a “competition.” At one point, the leading bid was 500 cows and 3 cars.
Based on the posts, it looks as if several regional politicians were involved in the bid. Someone posted, “Cows are more than people.” In a reference to the young woman’s height, the post said, “The kids of the winner are guaranteed for NBA slots.”
The Alliance for Women Lawyers attempted to have the Facebook post taken down and urged government officials to investigate the situation. While dowry is a traditional token of appreciation in the South Sudanese culture, the practice has grown to the point where “forced and early marriages” have been common among families.
As of the writing of this post, the auction page was still live and Facebook had done nothing to stop what human rights groups have called an example of human trafficking.
More from Newsbusters:
In August, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, of Jordan, said that there were many cases where “Facebook is the dominant medium in a country where you see deterioration of human rights conditions and then their role would be brought into question.”
So, even as Facebook is working steadily to eliminate the free speech of conservatives on its platform, the social media giant seems wholly unconcerned that human traffickers are using the service to sell women.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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