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  • Writer's pictureProfiles in Catholicism

Who have “blood on their hands?

by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

“You have blood on your hands, your product is killing people”.  This is the shocking challenge and accusation made to the founder of Face-Book Mark Zuckerberg by Sen. Lindsey Graham during a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on on-line child safety.


This hearing follows the exploding child sexual abuse images that are proliferating on all platforms together with other harmful content through the telecommunications companies. Is it time to tell the Philippine telecommunications the same thing?


The many postings and communications through the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) on the major platforms of social media is causing sex-extortion, suicides, drug overdoses, blackmail, grooming leading to child rape, excessive gambling, scams, fraud and other evils.The platforms of social media are like crime scenes but no one is held accountable.  CEOs of the social media platforms are being challenged to take responsibility and stop the crimes and abuse and harm that their products are doing to children and adults.They must be held  responsible and accountable for what they allow on their  platforms.


There is a rising cry worldwide for The US do more to control and disciple the content and change Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” 


This means the platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Tic Tok and others cannot be held liable for what others post on their social media platforms. When passed the lawmakers had no idea what that would do in time, - Unleash a torrent of hate speech abuse and lots of evil matter and activities carried on the platforms and published and shared without accountability.


Senator Durbin said that the social media platforms like Discord is one of many that are used for criminal purposes. "Discord has been used to groom, abduct and abuse children. Meta's Instagram helped connect and promote a network of pedophiles; Snapchat's disappearing messages have been coopted by criminals who financially sextort young victims,"


Responding to the drug sales over the platforms carried by all the Internet Server providers including the Philippine PLTD, Globe Dito  the worst drug peddlers are selling dangerous drugs over the internet and delivered by courier companies disguised as toiletries and cosmetics and so on.


Whereas the Philippine war on drugs targeted the impoverished users like  malnourished, constantly exhausted pedicab cyclists like Ben Santos (not real name) that spent 50 Pesos for a sachet of Shabu so he could keep peddling and earning more into the night to feed his family. Ben was accosted one night by an unidentified anti-drug hit squad and shot dead. He likely refused to give up the name of his pusher.


The real drug smugglers, traffickers and users are the elites living in high rise condos and getting their supplies over the internet through the offending social media platforms for their high powered expensive parties and to satisfy their addictions. Many young teenagers have been enticed to buy fentanyl on-line through Instagram or Face Book and died. That led to the accusation to Zuckerberg that he had “blood on his hands” so many have died as a result of crimes like illegal drug peddling. Who else also has blood on the hands”?


How many thousands of young people have been psychologically damaged, groomed sexually and abused on line by the sex shows they are forced to participate in to gratify the sexual urges of local and foreign pedophiles. The pedophiles entice and pay relatives of the child victims to sexually abuse their own children or neighbors to  gratify themselves while viewing small Filipino children being sexually abused on-line.  All this by live streaming over the ISPs and media platforms.


Some teenagers are lured to expose themselves in sexually suggestive poses to a person they come to truest on-line but is a extortionist demanding money or sex not to post on-line. Some committee suicide.


 This is allegedly what the accused priest Father Israel now jailed and on trial in Cagayan, Northern Philippines did. He admits the acts of grooming and sexual encounters but claims it was consensual yet he secretly videoed the alleged rape and sexual assault of the teenage victim . He then blackmailed her to continue being abused without complaining by threatening to expose the video on-line. Before the internet and social medics platforms this would not have been possible. The enablers of such crimes like the ISPs must be held accountable. 


Thousands of children are victims of exploitation and many can’t pay and some commit suicide. All this on-line child abuse can be detected and blocked by high powered AI software. The Philippine law demands that the telecommunications corporations (Telcos) and ISPs block that child abuse material even on-line streaming by installing AI powered detection and blocking software. Apparently they are not doing it. 


The telcos say they are effectively working with The Internet Watch foundation and blocking or reporting  thousands of offending websites.  However they must install the powerful AI blocking software that enables them to identify bad content filter and block it and capture the images and report to the police. Seeming they don’t  that software, experts say, would slow down the Internet and slowdown the fast flowing money into the bank accounts p of the Telecos. The Philippines is a hub of such on-line abuse and it continues according to International police. The child abuse continues as reports are still coming in from the international law enforcement agencies, investigators and monitoring non-government organizations.


Even the case of three 10 year old boys watched child sexual abuse on a cellphone and then went and raped a 6 year old girl shows the terrible effect it has on children.


There are hundreds of thousands of child abusive blogs, websites and illegal child abuse images and videos passing through the Telicos and ISPs servers daily. This is an alleged admission of failure, to take effective measures with AI software and start blocking the child abuse streaming and videos ca pass through the Telecos servers. They could save tho9usands of children from abuse if they decided to do so.


Unlike the weak laws or absence of them in the USA Philippine law protecting child form on-line sexual abuse is clear and strong but seemingly there is no government agency that has the courage or commitment to enforce it. Do they have blood on their hands too?


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