Facebook has come under fire for failing to notice the sale of a child bride on its site for 15 days after the post originally went live.

An auction was held on the social media platform for a 16-year-old girl in South Sudan which sought payment for her hand in marriage.

Facebook said the post was taken down as soon as the company learned of it, but that wasn’t until after the girl was married, repots 9 news.

The girl was bid on by five men, some of whom were high-ranking South Sudanese government officials, according to children’s rights organisation Plan International.

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Activists are concerned that this auction — for which the father reportedly received 500 cows, three cars and $13,000 in exchange for his daughter — could inspire other families to use social media sites to receive larger payments.

“That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief,” Plan International’s country director in South Sudan, George Otim, said.

“This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets.”

Facebook told CNN that its platform was used for the bidding, which started on October 25, and that it removed the post on November 9 — 15 days later.

“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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

“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,” the spokesperson added.

The marriage reportedly took place on November 3, 2018, according to locals.

Share your comments below

  • what a disgusting act. Facebook only sees the posts that are reported to them


  • How did facebook spot it or were they advised about it? A life should never have a monetary value.


  • I cannot believe this was on a mainstream site like facebook.


  • Is there follow up to this story? As there is a digital copy of the post and vile auction what is the legal outcome? It sickens me to know that this occurs – shameful and horrific!


  • I bet nothing will get done about the marriage it’s too late, as for those who knew what was happening were to busy observing seeing how interesting and how far could it actually go! Instead of reporting. There have been multiple things going against the law on Facebook but they slowly getting there even though it’s to late!


  • So this girl was auctioned, bid upon, sold and married all via Facebook and nobody who read this post was alarmed ? This shows something about the public/readers of the post, not only about the persons responsible for this action. Facebook certainly should not allow this to happen, that it went unnoticed for 15 days is a massive error on their side. They only took it down when the harm was already done.
    Praying for this girl-who’s sold like a piece of cattle- and hope that some organization will help her escape !


  • Think Facebook has much to answer for – and bidding for a child bride is certainly one.


  • It’s horrible to think this still happens. That poor girl does her family not care.


  • I hope this girl finds her freedom ????


  • Really sad a parent could do this


  • Poo girl I hope they find a way to stop this happening again.


  • Well, the girl was sold and married. Nothing to do now. If Sudan’s law allows this, we can’t do anything about it. Whoever read this post in Facebook, was probably very interested in the post, and found it “normal”. But I agree that Facebook should take responsibility for such a horrible thing happening!!


  • Those who read the post about the child bride should have reported it to law enforcement.

    • I also agree with that …there are so many wrongs with it all.


  • Geez, talk about too little too late. I’ve reported a buy, swap, sell page countless times for selling animals which is supposed to be banned and Facebook has done squat about it.


  • Love to learn a bit more on this story. Did anyone get arrested.?

    • I also hope there is a follow up story with more information. So many unanswered questions and it would be good to read a follow up article with links to what people can do to be active and protest against this type of vile act.


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