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Child bride in South Sudan sold on Facebook, platform didn’t notice



south sudan
are screened for malnutrition at a joint UNICEF-WFP Rapid
Response Mission (RRM), which delivers critical supplies and
services to those displaced by conflict, in Nyanapol, northern
Jonglei, March 3, 2015.

REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

  • A South Sudanese family auctioned off their 16-year-old
    daughter to marry the highest bidder.
  • Facebook told Business Insider that it removed the post
    and permanently disabled the account.
  • But that took place six days after the girl had been
    given away.
  • South Sudan’s legal marriage age is 18, but more than
    half of the country’s girls are married before then.

A family in South Sudan used Facebook to auction off their
16-year-old daughter as a child bride and managed to
complete the transaction before anybody could stop it.

The family in Eastern Lakes, a central region of South Sudan, put
up a post selling off the girl on October 25, Reuters reported.
She was married off on November 3,
according to Plan International
, a British girls’ rights

Facebook told Business Insider that it found the post on November
9 — more than two weeks after it was first posted — and
permanently removed it.

Read more:

Mark Zuckerberg insists he’s still the best person to run
Facebook, despite the endless scandals

The post featured a picture of the unnamed girl and noted that
five men were participating in an auction for her. Some were
high-ranking government officials, Plan International reported.

The winning bidder gave the girl’s father 500 cows, three
cars, and $10,000 in exchange for his daughter, Plan
International said.

Neither the girl, nor her family, nor her husband’s identities
are publicly known.

Taban Abel, the information minister in Eastern Lakes, said the
girl has gone into hiding in Juba, South Sudan’s capital.

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South Sudan’s legal marriage age is 18, but more than 50% of
girls in the country are wedded off before their 18th birthday,

Read more:

The UN reports warring factions in South Sudan abducted hundreds
of women and forced them into sexual slavery

George Otim, the South Sudan country director at Plan
International, said in a statement: “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.”

A Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement:
“Any form of human trafficking — whether posts, pages, ads or
groups is not allowed on Facebook. We removed the post and
permanently disabled the account belonging to the person who
posted this to Facebook.”

“We’re always improving the methods we use to identify content
that breaks our policies, including doubling our safety and
security team to more than 30,000 and investing in technology,”
they added.

Community Standards
forbid users to post content or engage in
human trafficking, which includes “recruiting, transporting,
transferring, detaining, providing, harboring, or receiving a
minor, or an adult against their will.”

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