Facebook has come under fire after a father reportedly used the social media platform to auction off his 17-year-old daughter’s hand in marriage.
Reuters reported that five men on Facebook bid on the dowry for the South Sudanese girl. Plan International told the outlet that a man ultimately gave the father more than 500 cows, three luxury cars, and $10,000 for his daughter; the marriage took place on November 3.
Afterward, pictures of the girl in a white gown surfaced on social media. Taban Abel, an information minister in the country’s Eastern Lakes state, told Reuters said the girl has gone into hiding but declined to provide additional information.
“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,” Country Director of Plan International South Sudan George Otim said in a statement.
The Guardian reported that the auction, while advertised on Facebook, wasn’t completed through the website. However, Otim reportedly said several posts “glorifying” the auctioned remained on the platform.
Speaking with CNN, a representative for Facebook confirmed the existence of the October 25 post and said it was removed on November 9. However, CNN noted that multiple outlets had covered the controversial auction days before Facebook removed it from their website.
“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,” the company spokesperson said.
[Featured image: Pixabay]