Report: Facebook criticized for handling of sexually explicit photos

MENLO PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- There are new concerns about Facebook's response to sexually explicit material, particularly as it involves images of children. A major news organization says its investigation shows Facebook doesn't properly moderate images, even after it's told of a problem.

The BBC says Facebook reported their journalists to the police, when the news organization sent examples of explicit content to a Facebook executive in the UK, so he could review the images in question. This happened after the BBC used Facebook's "report tool" to flag more than 100 pornographic and exploitive images of and about children. But, according to the BBC, only 18 of those images were removed.

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Facebook's automated replies back to the BBC said the other 82 did not breach "community standards." The BBC says they asked a UK Facebook executive for an interview. who then requested the BBC provide examples of the illegal content in question. The BBC says Facebook then canceled the interview and reported the BBC to police for sending the requested posts via email, an act considered a crime.

Facebook later provided a statement, saying they removed the illegal content from their site and that "We take this matter extremely seriously and we continue to improve our reporting and take-down measures. Facebook has been recognized as one of the best platforms on the internet for child safety."

Facebook's rules also forbid convicted sex offenders from having accounts. But the BBC says they found five convicted pedophiles with profiles which they reported to Facebook. The BBC says none of the pages were taken down.

ABC7 News reached out to Facebook in Menlo Park for comment, but so far, no comment.

The United Kingdoms's national crime agency has not commented on the investigation.

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