BBC journalists have come under police investigation after attempting to notify Facebook of a prolific pedophile ring operating on its network, 9 News reports.
When reporters found 100 images of child pornography on a closed Facebook group last week they sent the images to the company in hopes of instigating action against the perpetrators, Gizmodo reports.
They were dumbfounded when Facebook instead reported the BBC to police for the distribution of child porn.
According to the BBC – which has maintained a years-long mandate to report and stamp out illegal pedophile operations – Facebook representative and former BBC secretary Simon Milner had agreed to a sit down interview to talk about the company’s means of moderating its pages.
However, the one catch was the British broadcaster had to first send the tech giant images they had clandestinely found on the closed group.
When the BBC journalists sent the images as requested their interview with Milner was immediately cancelled and they were reported to the police.
The company issued a statement to Gizmodo citing the laws against the distribution of illegal images and Milner reportedly refused to comment on the matter.
Facebook maintained in a statement that it “has been recognized as one of the best platforms on the internet for child safety,” despite the fact its own policy forbids convicted pedophiles in the UK from having accounts.
The BBC attempted to flag 100 images of child pornography that appeared on the closed page using Facebook’s own moderation tool. Only 18 were reportedly deleted.
“The fact that Facebook sent images that had been sent to them, that appear on their site, for their response about how Facebook deals with inappropriate images… the fact that they sent those on to the police seemed to me to be extraordinary,” BBC’s director of editorial policy, David Jordan said in a statement issued on the BBC.