Online auction and marketplace websites have had people place many interesting “commodities” for sale, some of which have included people. In a recent case, a woman was auctioned off on Facebook to a wealthy businessman for 500 cows, three cars, and $10,000 according to a report:
The auction of a South Sudanese girl for marriage on Facebook could spur other families to use social media to demand bigger dowries for their daughters, activists said, urging authorities and the social networking giant to take much tougher action.
A picture of the 17-year-old, who is from South Sudan’s Eastern Lakes state, was posted on Facebook on Oct. 25. The post said five men were participating in the auction for her dowry.
The highest bidder, a wealthy businessman, reportedly gave the girl’s father over 500 cows, three luxury cars and $10,000 as dowry – and the teenager’s marriage took place on Nov. 3, according to major girls’ rights charity Plan International.
Taban Abel, information minister in Eastern Lakes in the center of the war-torn nation, said the girl had since gone into hiding in the capital, Juba, but did not offer any more details.
Pictures of the girl in a white wedding gown were shared on various social media sites. Some reports referred to her as a “virgin bride” or “the most expensive woman in South Sudan”.
“That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site … is beyond belief,” said George Otim, country director of Plan International South Sudan.
Facebook told the Thomson Reuters Foundation it removed the post and the user from its platform for violating its community standards last Friday, when it was made aware of the material. (source, source)