03:07 GMT21 April 2021
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    Online users say that Facebook can no longer adopt the “apologies, we did not know” act in the face of criticism of its integrity policies.

    A worrying development has stirred a response from British politicians, who condemned the possibility of social media trading chunks of the Amazon forest.

    The Labour party issued a statement on Friday, following the revelations of a BBC investigation reporting that Facebook has been illegally selling parts of the Amazon and land reserved for indigenous peoples through classified ads service. 

    Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, called upon the “moral duty” of social media companies.

    “The Amazon is our planet’s green lung and it’s vital we protect it from destruction. Social media companies have a moral duty to ensure their operations are not enabling deforestation and illegal sales of forest. The Government must urgently act to make sure that UK companies do not trade on the back of rainforest destruction,” Pollard said in a statement.

    ​Labour politicians David Lammy and Ed Miliband have also expressed their concern with the development.

    ​The plots of land listed on Facebook were reportedly as large as 1,000 football pitches in total.

    In response to the findings of the investigation, Facebook said its “commerce policies require buyers and sellers to comply with laws and regulations” but added that it was "ready to work with local authorities.”

    Social media in this case also served as the platform for people to vent their anger over the findings.

    According to Greenpeace, around 17-20 percent of the Amazon rainforest, that in parts covers land belonging to nine South American countries, has already been destroyed. Scientists have warned that loss of even 5-8 percent more could be detrimental to the flora in the region, and globally. 

    Tags:
    Facebook, rainforest, Amazon
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