For years, Facebook group allowed older gay men to exploit homeless boys for sex
UNITED KINGDOM, April 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A startling investigative report reveals that for years Facebook (FB) allowed the existence of a group page where older gay men negotiated the trading of sex for shelter for young homeless men.
The in-depth report, issued by Buzzfeed, chronicles the plight of young men with no place to stay who surrender their safety, health, and dignity for a warm bed or couch at night.
“We uncover some of the damage done to these young men – the sexual violence – by landlords, and reveal how they are being enabled by two major internet companies, one of which is Facebook,” states Buzzfeed. “The world’s largest social media platform … is hosting explicit posts from landlords promising housing in return for gay sex.”
“At best, impoverished young men are seeking refuge in places where they are at risk of sexual exploitation,” continues the report. “At worst, teenagers are being kept in domestic prisons where all personal boundaries are breached, where their lives are in danger.”
“By the end, it led to the darkest of places: young men raped, strangled, enslaved, and hospitalised – one with knife wounds to the neck.”
Buzzfeed editor Patrick Strudwick draws attention to Facebook’s glaring hypocrisy, portraying itself as an originator of the #MeToo movement, while permitting the exploitive gay-oriented site to remain uncensored for four years:
The Facebook group is called “Gay Houseboy’s and those who hire them” and describes itself as a “group for gay men seeking gay boys to work for them as houseboys, and for gay houseboys seeking employment”. Despite adding “No nude pics” and “no ‘hookup’' posts” its members post adverts enticing young men to exchange sex for a place to stay.
BuzzFeed News discovered the group last month as concerns peaked over Facebook’s handling of the data breaches of millions of users and as Mark Zuckerberg, its founder and CEO, told Congress his company “didn’t do enough” to prevent it.
Zuckerberg also took credit, in his prepared statement, for the #MeToo anti-sexual violence movement, as it was “organized, at least in part, on Facebook”. He did so while his site continued to provide a platform – as it has done for the last four years – for landlords who detail the kind of sex and men they require as payment for the accommodation they are offering.
The young men, many of whom are perhaps better described as boys, are seeking nothing more than a stable home life.
The administrator for the Facebook group told Buzzfeed that Facebook had not stopped the explicit notices being posted. The report continued:
When approached by BuzzFeed News to respond to issues relating to this group, Facebook initially replied promising that a representative would comment. That response, however, did not materialise, despite several attempts by BuzzFeed News, over several days, to invite Facebook to do so. A week after first contacting the social media company, the group remains on its site.
One young man interviewed for the story recounts a harrowing tale of years sadly bouncing from one home to the next where sex – and his self-worth – were traded for a place to stay.
A month after he left his first sex-for-rent arrangement, latching on to the first man who showed him attention, “I went for my first test after coming out and got gonorrhoea and HIV. I think I would have recovered from that whole period of my life if that had not happened.”
“It took him years to see himself as anything other than a commodity,” according to Buzzfeed.
As a result of Buzzfeed’s reporting, Facebook took down the offending FB group page. Read the whole story here.