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Citizens for Justice and Peace

UN migration body urges Facebook to curb People Smugglers

13, Dec 2017 | CJP Team

The United Nations’ migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has urged social media firms, including Facebook, to up their efforts in curbing people smugglers using their platforms. IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle has said people smugglers frequently use Facebook for unlawful deals to take migrants to Libya, where they could potentially be detailed, tortured, or enslaved. He also noted that Facebook’s WhatsApp has been used by smugglers who sometimes send videos of migrants being tortured to their families in an attempt to extort money. “We think it’s time for some grown-up responsibility by the social media companies writ-large for their platforms, which are clearly having a very detrimental role on young vulnerable populations across West Africa,” Doyle said, adding, “We … ask social media companies to step up and behave in a responsible way when people are being lured to deaths, to their torture.” Doyle said ongoing discussions with social media companies have had little effect. “What they say is, ‘please tell us the pages and we will shut them down’ … It is not our job to police Facebook’s pages. Facebook should police its own pages,” he declared. 

 

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