A humanitarian organization is outraged after a man in South Sudan used Facebook to auction off his daughter as a child bride.
The incident has sparked criticism over the social media network’s monitoring practices.
The girl’s family held the auction to seek the largest dowry for their daughter from the highest bidder, according to a CNN report. Facebook told CNN that its platform was used for the bidding which started on Oct. 25.
A children’s rights organization called Plan International monitors this type of activity and told CNN that five men bid on the girl. Some of the men were high-ranking South Sudanese government officials.
“The girl’s father reportedly received 500 cows, three cars and $10,000 in exchange for his daughter, who was married off to the winning bidder at a ceremony on Nov. 3 in the country’s Eastern Lakes State,” Plan International said in a statement.
“That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief,” said George Otim of Plan International.
Facebook said it learned about the post on Nov. 9 and removed it. The girl had been married by then.
“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 Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
Plan International wants the South Sudanese government to investigate and suspend any officials who were involved in the bridal auction.
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