Mark Zuckerberg Apologizes to the Families Affected by Sexual Exploitation
As the CEO of Meta and a father himself, Mark Zuckerberg knows the fears families face when their children use the internet.
We’re scared to let our kids use social media. Not just because of screen time but because there are predators out there. There are people who use social media to hide their ulterior motives and it probably hurts CEO of Meta Mark Zuckerberg, a father to a little girl named Aurelia, to see what was just a passion project to connect people in the university become a tool to exploit children. It was during a senate hearing when Senator Josh Hawley asked if he would apologize and Mark obliged!
He stands up and addresses the families present during the hearing. “I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through. No one should go through the things your families have suffered.”
The reality of online sexual exploitation
Last year, it was even more disturbing to find out that the Philippines was recognized and ranked as the “no. 2 hotspot for online sexual exploitation and assault of children.” With over 87,400,000 Facebook users in the Philippines, we don’t know what their intentions are. Even with group moderators and admins strictly managing the groups and mediating arguments, many groomers and predators still slip through the filters.
But the painful reality is that we’ve become dependent on social media. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and others became the window to the outside world when COVID-19 trapped us in our homes. Our families, even though they were a 20-minute drive away, used social media to check in on us. And that was Mark Zuckerberg’s original motive for creating Facebook: to connect people.
During the hearing, he assures that Meta is “investing more in industry-wide efforts to fight the problem.” However, these families, as Senator Josh Hawley adds, are looking for “compensation.” As to how that will work, Mark did not specify during the hearing.
While Mark Zuckerberg made his mark on history as the man who created Facebook, it’s probably harrowing for him, as a father, knowing that when Aurelia becomes old enough to use the platform, she’s exposed. He created Facebook as a tool to communicate. But like all tools, they can either be good or bad depending on who uses them.
Efforts from both the inventor and its users
But the war against online sexual exploitation and abuse of children isn’t over. The Philippines already has a revised version of the Anti-OSAEC law to hold every party involved responsible, including parents! But to get the child to speak up is a difficult task. After all, the ones who exploited them were also the ones who always tucked them in at night and told them that they “loved” them.
Especially in the Philippines, the disturbing reality is that some of the ones who fuel the industry of child pornography and cyber child trafficking are the relatives and even the parents themselves, citing their own lack of ability to provide for their families and their child “owing” them.
We’re always trying to protect our children from those predators. But if we see a child who doesn’t have a parent to protect or fight for them when those hostiles come for them, perhaps, it’s time we fight for them too. Parents are not the only ones who need a village. Children do too.
For those wondering how to report these incidents, the Philippines’ Department of Justice has an Office of Cybercrime. Their office is also on the 3rd Floor, JDC Center Building, No. 571 Engracia Cruz-Reyes Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines 1000.
Fight against online sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children! Stay informed!
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The Disturbing Reality of Online Sexual Exploitation