Commentary

Facebook Likes NAMBLA?

FoxNews.com-B

Oh, Facebook. You know how you were trying to clean up your image, especially regarding online safety for children? Especially protecting kids from sexual predators? Well, I'm no PR whiz, but I feel like you may want to reconsider letting the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) use Facebook to organize local chapters and share tips on their nefarious pursuit of underage love.

Yes, as incredible as it seems, NAMBLA is strutting its creepy, creepy stuff of Facebook, according to a report from FoxNews.com, which says the pro-pedophilia organization uses the social network to "connect with its members throughout the world, find and exchange photos of children, hone its members' predatory behavior, and to identify, target and reel in child victims" -- far exceeding NAMBLA's supposedly limited goal of advocating legal changes to laws forbidding sexual contact between adults and children.

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These are serious accusations, but FoxNews.com supports them with plenty of disturbing details. First of all, it found "dozens of pages" devoted to NAMBLA -- not as jokes or protests -- complete with (non-revealing) pictures of young boys, and "hundreds of links" to NAMBLA's Web site on Facebook. Meanwhile posts on blogs and chatrooms frequented by pedophiles commonly suggest they are using Facebook to target kids. According to the report, NAMBLA members are using the site to "seek out like-minded individuals to help victimize children, exchange crime scene photos and give one another advice on how to be better criminals," including "tips on using the site to assist others in having real-life conversations with children" and "tips for evading the eye of law enforcement while trolling Facebook for victims."

In case anyone still thinks this is just some typical Fox News rabble-rousing, consider this quote from Hemanshu Nigam, co-chairman of President Obama's Online Safety Technology Working Group and a member of the board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: "This is just the downright filthiest of society setting up on Facebook in a public way, and the question is, 'Why is Facebook allowing this?'"

The site said it is removing at least some of the offending pages, but you have to wonder how they came to be operating openly, even brazenly, in the first place.

As for what to do about it, most people's first instinct would be to remove the pages, and that is probably what will happen. However, I wonder if there could be some benefit in leaving them up, provided that law enforcement is able conduct surveillance which helps them identify, track, and apprehend pedophiles. As in counter-terrorism and other types of criminal investigation, it sometimes pays to let would-be criminals go about their business (provided they're securely monitored, and not in the midst of carrying out an actual crime) to give them enough rope to hang themselves.

2 comments about "Facebook Likes NAMBLA?".
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  1. Arnold Schoen from -, September 29, 2010 at 10:43 a.m.

    Is Fox Gullible?

    NAMBLA is not and has never been, as an organization or through its officers or through any other authorized agent, on FaceBook or any other social media. Social media can serve as the modern version of the marketplace where people once exchanged ideas. In this spirit, people are free to post their lawful expressions on any of these new media independently of NAMBLA. It appears that the issues NAMBLA stands for are important enough for all sort of people to have used social media to express their own opinions. For reasons of privacy, a well publicized problem with such Web sites, NAMBLA from the start chose not to participate.

    NAMBLA is a life-affirming organization that believes that a wide variety of benevolent human orientations, including all mutually desired relationships, enriches the social fabric. We are opposed to all who would demonize these positive forms of human expression they do not understand.

    In this respect, Fox News would appear to be the problem. It fans the flames of intolerance through insinuations, half truths and outright lies. Their aim is not the presentation of actual news, but the entertainment of a gullible public while reinforcing false notions and prejudices. These are disguised as substantial news. It's a little early for Halloween.

    NAMBLA has no power to control what people say. They are free to agree or disagree. But we do condemn those individuals who have falsely and cravenly represented themselves as NAMBLA for their own nefarious purposes. It defies credibility that Fox News does not have the sophistication to recognize these realities. Neither can we dictate what others purport to say in our name for purposes we don't know. NAMBLA primarily speaks through its Web site which can be visited at www.nambla.org.

  2. Howie Goldfarb from Blue Star Strategic Marketing, September 30, 2010 at 7:42 p.m.

    There is more to this story beyond NAMBLA. I have seen work on Elance asking for social media experts who can set up 1000's of accounts with real photos and friends. I didn't understand why until I saw all the Spam Porn on Brand Fan Pages like Doritos and Mountain Dew. Remember porn spam was part of Myspace's downfall. Is facebook next?

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