Body Parts From Endangered Wildlife Sold on Facebook-CEO Zuckerberg Silent (Video)

Animal Cruelty, Animals

by N.Morgan 

This screen grab from a Facebook group and photographed on a computer screen in Washington, Monday, April 9, 2018, shows what appears to be a bucket of tiger teeth offered for sale on a Facebook page. In a complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders utilizing its platform for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company. (AP Photo)

Facebook is under fire again, this time accused of allowing the body parts of endangered animal species to be sold globally on the website.

Watching the recent testimony of Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves no doubt he has no issue with not telling the truth, even under oath.

Facebook is displaying advertisements for well-known American corporations on group pages operated by overseas wildlife traffickers illegally selling the body parts of threatened animals, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger teeth.

In a secret complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders using its service for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company.

Facebook didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The complaint, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press, was initially filed in August on behalf of an undercover informant represented by the National Whistleblower Center, a non-profit legal advocacy group. The identity of the informant, who recorded video of face-to-face meetings with wildlife traffickers set up over Facebook, has been kept confidential out of safety concerns.

The SEC declined to comment Monday on whether the whistleblower complaint triggered an investigation of the company.

“Facebook is not an innocent bystander to these crimes,” said Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center. “Facebook sold advertisements on the very pages the illegal ivory was being marketed.”

Facebook is one of 20 technology companies that last month joined the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online, which was organized by Google and the World Wildlife Fund. Weeks after the March 7 announcement, an AP reporter was able to see scores of internationally banned wildlife products for sale in public and private Facebook groups, most based in Southeast Asia.

Among the items available were belts made from what appeared to be the fur of Bengal tigers, a critically endangered species with only about 2,500 still living in the wild. Also advertised were horns from black rhinos, a species heavily targeted by poachers with little more than 5,000 still roaming Africa.

Negotiations over price and delivery are often initiated by Facebook Messenger. Instagram and WhatsApp, two social media platforms also owned by Facebook, are also sometimes used by traffickers.

The allegations tying Facebook to the illegal trafficking of wildlife are surfacing while the company is already scrambling to recover from a privacy scandal that has wiped out $79 billion in shareholder wealth during the past three weeks.

The crisis stems from revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a data-mining firm connected to President Donald Trump’s successful 2016 campaign, had exploited weaknesses in Facebook’s privacy controls to collect personal information about 87 million people without their consent.

Zuckerberg will try to reverse the backlash against the company when he opens two days of testimony in Congress. His appearance will give lawmakers the opportunity to grill him about the Cambridge Analytica episode, as well as evidence that Russian agents manipulated Facebook’s network to spread false information that may have swayed the 2016 election.

The SEC complaint may trigger other lines of inquiry about how much of Facebook’s annual revenue of $41 billion has been generated by ads running on pages featuring illegal activity, such as the sale of elephant ivory and tiger teeth.

Facebook hasn’t disclosed that some of its revenue may be tied to illegal trafficking in wildlife in regulatory filings that are supposed to outline various risks and other threats that could crimp its profits or stock price.

Trafficking investigators say they have seen no drop off in the illegal products offered for sale on Facebook after prior public pledges by the company to crack down.

They are calling on federal security regulators to force Facebook to immediately freeze accounts being used by illegal traffickers and cooperate with international law enforcement to identify the individuals involved for prosecution.

[SOURCE]

References:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/body-parts-threatened-wildlife-widely-sold-facebook-234807698–politics.html

http://www.ap.org/

AP environmental reporter Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbieseck

More Stories Contributed By N. Morgan

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Pangolins Are Weirdly Amazing Creatures and Sadly Endangered (Video)

Animals

by N.Morgan

Pangolins are considered one of the world’s most heavily trafficked mammals roaming the Earth.

These defenseless little beings are being slaughtered to extinction – simply to meet a demand based on superstitions and exploited by greed.

Experts warn that the illegal trade in Pangolins will render them extinct within our lifetime – yet most people have never heard of a Pangolin!

Pangolins are mammals of the order Pholidota.

The one extant family, Manidae, has three genera: Manis, which comprises four species living in Asia; Phataginus, which comprises two species living in Africa; and Smutsia, which comprises two species also living in Africa.

Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin, and they are the only known mammals with this feature.

They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species.

Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites which they capture using their long tongues.

They tend to be solitary animals, meeting only to mate and produce a litter of one to three offspring which are raised for about two years.

Pangolins are threatened by hunting (for their meat and scales) and heavy deforestation of their natural habitats, and are the most trafficked mammals in the world.

To help protect endangered pangolins, you can support rescuers at Save Vietnam’s Wildlife: http://thedo.do/pangolins.

To help save endangered wildlife, you can support Project CAT: http://thedo.do/projectcat.

Special thanks to CTGN America (http://cgtn.com/america) for their incredible footage.

References:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCINb0wqPz-A0dV9nARjJlOQ

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangolin

[Source]