Social media in general, and Facebook specifically, has become a hunting ground for various types of predators. There is the bully looking for an easy target; there are groups who look to devour anyone or anything which isn’t in agreement with them either in the religious realm, politically, or socially; and let’s not forget those “hate-mongers” which fly in the face of Facebook standards only to be evaluated and removed. Do that too many times and one can land themselves in “Facebook jail.”
There’s another kind of predator that usually skulks in the dark shadows of the internet, often hidden behind a fake name and profile: predators of the sexual variety. Although Facebook has standards that are supposed to stop young people from becoming prey and inhibit predators from acting out on their platform, it would appear that maybe Facebook is looking for a change.
Recently, Facebook used a survey to ask whether pedophiles requesting sexual pictures from children should be allowed in its website. According to The Guardian, Facebook stated, “We have prohibited child grooming on Facebook since our earliest days; we have no intention of changing this and we regularly work with the police to ensure that anyone found acting in such a way is brought to justice.” If they have no intention of changing their policies, why bother to ask such offensive and dangerous questions in the first place?
Why ask this next question? “When thinking about the rules for deciding whether a private message in which an adult man asks a 14 year old girl for sexual pictures should or should not be allowed on Facebook, ideally who do you think should be deciding the rules?” With some of the possible survey answers being: “Facebook decides the rules on its own,” “Facebook users decide the rules by voting and tell Facebook,” and “I have no preference.”
The Guardian states: “In neither survey question did Facebook allow users to indicate that law enforcement or child protection should be involved in the situation: the strictest option allowed involved turning to the social network as arbiter.”
Simply put, such actions as purported in this survey are criminal and exploitive of children. That being the case, such questions should never have even been put out there as though it were normal and acceptable. In essence, Facebook was asking if they should be considered above the law and, in a sense, become their own little “sanctuary city” for perversion to “legally” abound.
Social media often tempts us to ignore the safeguards God has laid out for us in the Scriptures, making it hard to put no wicked thing before one’s eyes. It’s difficult to point to Jesus when our selfies point to ourselves (thus the term); our tongues feel unleashed with a sharp edge when there isn’t anyone’s face to show the hurt. In short, be careful little eyes what you see, ears what you listen to, fingers what you type, and take care to remember that you are an image-bearer of God. Even if Facebook and other social media outlets change their ways, God hasn’t, nor will He.
Join us for our upcoming events:
THE GOD WHO SPEAKS
On Friday, March 16, with showings at 1 PM and 7 PM, the American Decency Association will be presenting a documentary produced by the American Family Association. The God Who Speaks will be shown in our auditorium which is located at, 203 E Main Street, Fremont, Michigan.
PROTECT YOUNG EYES
Join us on March 23 at 7 PM at the American Decency building (203 E. Main St, Fremont, Michigan. The group is called Protect Young Eyes and they will show us how to best protect our children in this dangerous digital age.
To support our efforts please click here or mail your gift to American Decency Association (ADA), PO Box 202, Fremont, MI 49412.
American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.