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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Facebook, Twitter: Are They Enabling Child Pornographers?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Another kind of social network?
  • Another kind of social network?

Mexican journalist and activist Lydia Cacho apparently thinks so.

In a recent trip to San Francisco, Cacho, who has written about child prostitution in Cancún and tussled with powerful businessmen and politicians in her home country, said that social-media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are providing a forum for child pornographers to post illegal images of kids.

Concerns about child pornography online have become a rallying cry for some activist groups, and have even gotten the attention of politicians, with lawmakers in Washington pushing legislation that would force Internet service providers to track personal information about their users in an effort to root out peddlers of child porn.

The proposed legislation is being denounced by civil libertarians who consider it an invasion of privacy.

The true extent to which the Internet abets sex crimes against minors is hard to know. As Village Voice Media recently reported, some activist groups opposed to child pornography are shopping around scientifically unfounded studies on the prevalence of the problem. VVM, which owns SF Weekly, also owns the classified-ad site Backpage, which hosts ads for adult services. Backpage has been criticized by some activist groups for allegedly hosting ads for sex with minors.

Here is El Mensajero's original report on Cacho's statements.

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Peter Jamison


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