Facebook slammed for allowing South Sudanese user to auction off 16-year-old bride

“This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets”


Facebook has been criticized for allowing a 16-year-old child bride in South Sudan to be auctioned off to the highest bidder on its platform.

Her father received 500 cows, two luxury cars, two bikes, a boat, some mobile phones and $13,800 in exchange for his daughter.

It is the largest dowry ever paid in the civil war-torn country, according to the Government.

Five men bid on the girl, including high-ranking South Sudanese government officials, according to children’s rights organization Plan International.

The post advertising the girl was first shared on October 25, but it took Facebook until November 9 to remove the post — six days after she was married off to the winning bidder.

She became the man’s ninth wife.

George Otim, country director of Plan International South Sudan, likened the auction to slave markets and slammed Facebook for allowing it to take place on the company’s platform.

“This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets,” he said.

Mr Otim called on South Sudan’s Government to investigate and suspend officials who took part in the bidding, while also encouraging girls who were forced into marriage to report their case to the police.

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