“Even after 15 years in child protection, I was shocked by what I encountered when I spent just five minutes on Facebook posing as a 14-year-old girl. Within 90 seconds, a middle-aged man wanted to perform a sex act in front of me.

I was deluged by strangers asking stomach-churning questions about my sexual experience. I was pressured to meet men with whom I’d never before communicated.

So I wasn’t surprised that a vulnerable teenager, Ashleigh Hall, was groomed on Facebook before being brutally raped and killed.”

And so began the Daily Mail’s double-page hatchet job on Facebook (edited legal retreat version here). This would be incredibly damaging for the social networking giant. Damaging, that is, if it happened not to be a load of b****cks:

  • The original author, Mark Williams-Thomas, had told the paper that the social network he referred to in the article was not Facebook.
  • He re-asserted this when sent a draft of the story with Facebook named.
  • The Mail’s own expert backed up Williams-Thomas, repeating that the network described couldn’t be Facebook.

But they went ahead and published it anyway! Global Dashboard has the full story.

Daily Mail: keeping you afraid since 1896.

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