“Barbaric Use of Technology” — Child Bride Auctioned On Facebook

More than 50% of girls in South Sudan are married before they turn 18.

child bride
Child was sold at auction as a bride on Facebook, according to multiple reports. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto)
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook is under fire yet again — this time for being the conduit through which a South Sudanese child was sold at auction as a bride.

The “barbaric use of technology” allowed a 16-year-old girl to be traded for the highest dowry, CNN reported. Facebook said it took the post advertising the young girl down as soon as it was alerted to it, but that wasn’t until after she was already married — 15 days later.

Among the five men who reportedly bid on the teen were high-ranking South Sudanese government officials, according to the children’s rights organization Plan International.

“That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief,” Plan International’s country director in South Sudan, George Otim said. “This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets.”

In exchange for his daughter, the girl’s father allegedly received 500 cows, three cars and $10,000.

“Any form of human trafficking — whether posts, pages, ads or groups is not allowed on Facebook,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to CNN. “We removed the post and permanently disabled the account belonging to the person who posted this to Facebook.”

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