Jim 'Button' Gamble to stand before Home Affairs Committee
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Home Affairs Committee
Work of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre
Tuesday 12 October 2010 at 12.30 p.m.
Committee Room 15, House of Commons
Purpose of session
This is one of the Committee’s topical evidence sessions. It is an opportunity to discuss the work of CEOP with its Chief Executive, Jim Gamble, and in particular to explore the concerns about the future of this agency that have led Mr Gamble to resign from his post.
Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Committee, said:
“We have long been aware of the magnificent specialised work done by CEOP in protecting children from sexual exploitation, making the internet a safer environment for children, combating child trafficking, and tracking down missing paedophiles. We are alarmed that Mr Gamble considers that the proposed merger of CEOP into the National Crime Agency would place this work in jeopardy, and we are therefore taking an early opportunity to explore with him the nature of his concerns.”
from House of Commons, UK Parliament - Home Affairs Committee on October 7, 2010
Broadcast in November, 3 2009 - for future memory, information purpose only with thanks to BBC, SIC and Murdoch's UK media channel
Gamble's CEOP, Mark Williams-Thomas, Dacre's & Murdoch's Paedo Panic Hype - A Marketorial Strategy
Daily Mail lies about Facebook (updated x7)
by David Steven, on March 10, 2010
[Important updates below - Facebook says the Daily Mail knew its story was untrue, but printed it anyway. Legal action is promised. The BBC has now picked up on Global Dashboard's story. Journalism.co.uk has a piece as well. Guardian has followed our lead too. Mashable. Belle de Jour chips in.]
In the early hours of this morning, the Daily Mail published an astonishing attack on Facebook under the title “I posed as a 14-year-old girl on Facebook. What followed will sicken you.”
Here’s the opener:
Even after 15 years in child protection, I was shocked by what I encountered when I spent just five minutes on Facebook posing as a 14-year-old girl. Within 90 seconds, a middle-aged man wanted to perform a sex act in front of me.The article is written by Mark Williams-Thomas. Here’s his biog:
I was deluged by strangers asking stomach-churning questions about my sexual experience. I was pressured to meet men with whom I’d never before communicated.
So I wasn’t surprised that a vulnerable teenager, Ashleigh Hall, was groomed on Facebook before being brutally raped and killed.
Mark is a former police detective who has far-reaching experience of working at the centre of high profile investigations. During Mark’s police service, he specialised in child protection and major crime and he is renowned throughout the UK’s police forces as well as the national media for his expertise in these areas.It’s an odd story. Facebook isn’t really a chat site – and it’s certainly not Chatroulette, where there are plenty of men ready and waiting to jack off in front of you (sfw). Presumably Williams-Thomas set his privacy settings to zero and befriended loads of strangers. But how did those strangers find him (her) so quickly?
Fast forward twelve hours and the online version of Williams-Thomas’s article has undergone some editing. New title: I posed as a girl of 14 online. What followed will sicken you. And new text, with Facebook replaced with an unnamed ‘social networking site’.
Even after 15 years in child protection, I was shocked by what I encountered when I spent just five minutes on a social networking site posing as a 14-year-old girl. Within 90 seconds, a middle-aged man wanted to perform a sex act in front of me.The url, though, has not been changed: I-posed-girl-14-Facebook-What-followed-sicken-you.html [This url was subsequently set to redirect to a new one - 12/03/2010]
So what gives? If it was Facebook that Williams-Thomas was using, then why turn so coy? And if it wasn’t, how on earth could the Mail have pretended it was?
Update: Via Twitter, I asked Williams-Thomas for clarification.
Here’s his reply:
So why was Facebook named in the first place?
Update 2: Apparently the story – with Facebook named – was a front page splash in the print edition, and then a double page spread inside.
Update 3: Just had a call from Facebook – they’re incandescent and say that:
- Williams-Thomas claims that he was 100% clear that his social network experiment had not involved Facebook.
- When the Mail sent him a first draft of the story with Facebook named, he asked for them to make a correction.
- Even so, they went ahead and published a story their own expert had warned them was untrue.
Facebook says that legal action against the Mail is pending. What an extraordinary piece of negligence and/or malice from the paper!
Update 4: The Mail appended a fairly mealy mouthed correction last night:
In an earlier version of this article, we wrongly stated that the criminologist had conducted an experiment into social networking sites by posing as a 14-year-old girl on Facebook with the result that he quickly attracted sexually motivated messages. In fact he had used a different social networking site for this exercise. We are happy to set the record straight.Will they be happy to pay damages to Facebook too? Another version here, which begins: “In an article by a criminologist yesterday, we wrongly stated…” – half-maintaining the fiction that Williams-Thomas actually wrote the piece…
Update 5: From last year, another great Daily Mail headline: “How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer.”
Update 6: Instead of retreating to lick her wounds, Mail journo, Laura Topham has doubled down with another article on Internet safety – again using the Facebook killer as a hook and with the same oddly prurient image from yesterday’s story.
Before her Facebook howler, Topham’s main claim to fame was dating 100 men and writing about it, outing Belle de Jour [or not - see Belle's comment], and running up huge amounts of debt because the government inveigled her into taking out a student loan.
Her big break in journalism came in 2005 when she shafted David Blunkett.
Update 7: PC Pro quotes Facebook’s spokeswoman as challenging the Daily Mail to name the social networking platform that is really to blame. I was given exactly the same message. Facebook think it knows which service Williams-Thomas used and is desperate for one of its competitors to get shafted.
A representative of Williams-Thomas justifies anonymity thus: “The reason he does not want to [name the service] is because he does not want there to be another opening for paedophiles to head straight for.”
Searches on google [more examples here]
Facebook perv panic buttons | The Sun |News
12 Jul 2010 ... We pay £££ Call: 0207 782 4100 - Email: email@example.com ... for the move following a series of internet paedophile scandals. ...
Hollie Steel is being targeted by paedophiles | The Sun |News
3 Apr 2010 ... We pay £££ Call: 0207 782 4100 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ... Hollie Steel is being targeted by paedophiles using her Facebook page, ...
Parents face arrest for warning of paedo on Facebook | The Sun |News
8 May 2010 ... PARENTS who kept tabs on a sex fiend on Facebook have been told THEY face arrest.www.thesun.co.uk/.../Parents-face-arrest-for-warning-of-paedo-on-Facebook.html
Paedophile nursery woman told: Name your victims | The Sun |News
2 Oct 2009 ... We pay £££ Call: 0207 782 4100 - Email: email@example.com ... the wicked paedophile ring after making contact through the Facebook ...
Facebook paedophile suspect has had her ninth child | The Sun |News
2 Dec 2009 ... Tracy Lyons, held over her alleged part in the Facebook paedophile ring, has had her ninth child, The Sun can reveal. www.thesun.co.uk/.../Facebook-paedophile-suspect-has-had-her-ninth-child.html
Facebook freezes out paedo hunter | The Sun |News
4 May 2010 ... We pay £££ Call: 0207 782 4100 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ... who has named thousands of sex offenders and paedophiles on Facebook has ...
Paedophiles | Facebook | Myspace | Peados banned from social ...
PAEDOPHILES will be banned from social networking websites like MySpace and Facebook. ... We pay £££ Call: 0207 782 4100 - Email: email@example.com ...
Twitter is an unpoliced playground for paedophiles experts say ...
23 Oct 2009 ... It highlights how easy it is for a paedophile to prey on children through Twitter." ... The other is Facebook. firstname.lastname@example.org ...
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