Newspaper Says Facebook Gave to Groups Advising It on Child Safety

Facebook made contributions to charities that serve on the online social network’s advisory board on child-safety issues, The Independent writes, citing reporting by another British daily, The Times.

Facebook acknowledged to The Times that it made payments to Internet-safety organization Childnet International and gave “a range of support,” including sponsorships and free advertising, to the other four groups on its safety advisory board. The social network did not appear on a list of donors on Childnet International’s Web site.

John Carr, who sits on the executive board of the U.K. Council for Child Internet Safety, said the gifts could compromise advisory groups’ independence and accused Facebook of “cynical window dressing” in its child-welfare efforts. A Facebook spokesman told The Independent that “our close collaboration with [the charities] is in no way intended to stifle criticism.”

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