Facebook subpoenaed over child grooming

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Facebook subpoenaed over child grooming

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is taking action against Facebook for allegedly failing to stop sexual predators using the site.

The case was filed after city officials posed as 12-14 year-olds on Facebook and were immediately targeted by paedophiles. They were also able to access pornographic images and videos.

"My office is concerned that Facebook's promise of a safe website is not consistent with its performance in policing its site and responding to complaints," said Cuomo.

"Parents have a right to know what their children will encounter on a website that is aggressively marketed as safe."

Cuomo claimed that Facebook had consistently ignored complaints from investigators posing as the parents of the 'children', and that when the company did respond the time taken was "excessive".

While the investigators found that Facebook usually removed offensive material within a week, it was less active when it came to shutting down user groups which displayed and exchanged pornography.

Cuomo cited an example of an investigator who created a profile for a 14 year-old female high-school student from New York on 30 August.

Approximately one week later, the 'female' received a Facebook message from a 24 year-old man asking 'Do you have any nude pics?'.

The investigator lodged a complaint with Facebook pretending to be the student's mother and complaining that her daughter was being solicited by older men.

Facebook sent a response the next day saying that the site "will review the reported material and remove anything that violates our Terms of Use".

Facebook has taken no further action, however, and the 24 year-old man's profile is still available on the Facebook site, according to Cuomo.

The court action will force the company to hand over all complaints made against users, the company's response and any public statements it has made about the safety of the site.
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