A 16-year-old girl from South Sudan was auctioned off for marriage via Facebook. The winning bid to marry her was three cars, 500 cows, and $10,000. According to a human rights organization called Plan International, the girl was in fact married off on November 3rd in Sudan's Eastern Lakes state.
George Otim, the director of Plan International in South Sudan, had this to say...
"This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets. That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world's biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief."He went on..
"While it is common for dowries to be used in marriages in South Sudanese culture, nothing can excuse the way this girl – who is still a child – has been treated as nothing more than an object, sold off to the bidder prepared to offer the most money and goods."
Facebook said it removed the post as soon as they became aware of it. However, the removal came six days too late on November 9th.
A Facebook spokesperson said...
"Any form of human trafficking whether posts, pages, ads or groups that co-ordinate this activity are not allowed on Facebook. As soon as we were made aware of this post we worked quickly to remove the content and associated profile."
Under South Sudanese law, the age of consent for marriage is 18.
People had harsh words for Facebook.
@thehill At some point, we will have to start deleting our accounts.— Andy Jones (@Andy Jones)1542767371.0
@thehill #DeleteFacebook— Miss Ferguson (@Miss Ferguson)1542768912.0
@thehill Facebook slipping and sliding.— Barbara Jackson (@Barbara Jackson)1542767318.0
@thehill That’s it. I’m out.— Lorraine Gardner (@Lorraine Gardner)1542771944.0
@thehill https://t.co/HmL7Ve5yBY— Michael Whitehead (@Michael Whitehead)1542769151.0
Others were mortified.
@RyanAFournier Absolutely disgusting!!!!— Elizabeth Rea Shoemaker (@Elizabeth Rea Shoemaker)1542811496.0
@RyanAFournier Holy cow! That's horrible!— Jesse Davis (@Jesse Davis)1542812385.0
@RyanAFournier What century is this?— steven w. blustein (@steven w. blustein)1542811066.0
@RyanAFournier That is so wrong!!!— DeeG ❌ (@DeeG ❌)1542809501.0
@thehill "The girl's father received 500 cows, 3 cars and $10,000 in exchange for his daughter. Five men, including… https://t.co/32IVSsKzVy— 💋SkyHO💋 (@💋SkyHO💋)1542731274.0
Unfortunately, with over 2 billion users, Facebook cannot keep track of every potentially nefarious post in real time.