Facebook has finally removed thousands of illegal upskirting photos – but why did it take so long?
Written by Amy Beecham
Following the BBC’s investigation into Facebook, upskirting activist Gina Martin has called on people to take action against the social media giant.
Gina Martin, the activist and campaigner who helped make upskirting – the act of taking a sexually intrusive photograph up someone’s skirt without their permission – illegal in 2019 has called Facebook “complicit in sexual abuse” after a BBC investigation foundthousands of users openly sharing obscene material on the platform.
“I was on a mission with this one and I finally got her,” one user wrote on the site, as reported by the BBC. “So sexy. Would love to see more,” another commented.
However, when the BBC first reported the images to Meta, the company that owns Facebook, using their own safety tools, the company said that they don’t “go against one of our specific Community Standards” and were not taken down.
Upskirting is illegal in England and Wales, and became a crime under the Voyeurism (Offences) Act.
“In 2017 Facebook told me I violated guidelines for posting a pic of a man who upskirted me. This week, BBC News found thousands of predators organising on the platform to upskirt. BBC reported these posts but were told they ‘didn’t violate guidelines,’” Martin shared in a tweet.
“Facebook, you are literally complicit in sexual violence,” Martin continued. “You are giving abusers a platform. You are giving them impunity so that they can hurt women and children.
“How can these images or videos not be violating community guidelines when they literally detail something that is actually illegal? I made it so in 2019.”
Following the BBCinvestigation, Meta said it has taken action against groups, individual accounts and hashtags linked to the content.
In a statement, it said: “Sharing intimate images without consent, including upskirting, is not allowed on Facebook. Following the BBC’s investigation we’ve removed a large number of groups and accounts, and have taken further action to block multiple associated hashtags. We know our work is never finished and we’ll continue to remove any violating content when we become aware of it”.
However, Martin urged her followers to “tag [Facebook] and tell them that you’re disgusted by the BBC investigation. That they’re colluding with abusers and they’re complicit in the abuse of women and girls on their platform.”
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