Meta let parents sell pics of their kids to pedophiles on Instagram: report

This content was sold to an overwhelmingly male audience that had a sexual interest in the children in the content when they communicated with the accounts.


Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta allowed parents to exploit their children by having pedophiles to pay to see the children in bikinis and other skimpy outfits. Meta safety staff warned this was happening and the company pressed without taking proper action. 

Staff at Meta safety last year warned the company that a subscription tool for “parent-managed minor accounts” was allowing parents to exploit their minor children for payment from pedophiles, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Content that was sold from these accounts, managed by many children’s own parents, had young girls dressed in bikinis and leotards.  

This content was sold to an overwhelmingly male audience that had a sexual interest in the children presented when they communicated with the accounts.

Meta safety found that many parents understood what they were doing to get payment from their pedophilic audience and sometimes they would engage with users in sexual ways over direct messaging with subscribers to the content.

Last year, there was a tipping and paid subscription service rolled out on Instagram to incentivize influencers to make more content. Only adults were allowed to manage these account, however, accounts featuring content with minors could be managed by an adult.  

Sarah Adams, a mother in Canada, started noticing and brought attention to a list of different accounts selling the material featuring young and teen girls to pedophiles last spring.  

Meta’s systems and algorithm were activley promoting this content to users who were searching for this kind of content and were suspected of having pedophilic desires.  

The safety team at the company made several targeted and manually controlled proposals to stop this, instead the company chose to create an automated system to prevent suspected pedophiles from subscribing to accounts run by adults for minors. The system did not always work, and it could be avoided by setting up another account. The WSJ recorded several instances where this did not work.  

Meta spokesman Andy Stone told the WSJ, “We launched creator monetization tools with a robust set of safety measures and multiple checks on both creators and their content.” 

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