The story appeared in the Daily Mail on Wednesday under a headline that pretty much says it all: "I posed as a girl of 14 on Facebook. What followed will sicken you."
The author of the piece, Mark Williams-Thomas, claimed editors changed his story to focus on Facebook and that the social network he'd researched wasn't even Facebook.
"The people at Facebook in the US were reading this and knew at once that it couldn't have been our platform," a Facebook UK spokeswoman told The Guardian. "We have made Facebook much more favourable to the safety of minors – minors under 18 cannot receive messages from somebody over 18."
The Daily Mail has apologized and made changes to the online version of the story, replacing "on Facebook" with "online" in the headline and lede. However, Facebook claims it had a difficult time getting a response from the Daily Mail yesterday and that the newspaper is blocking its repeated attempts to comment on the story online.
Facebook has faced mounting criticism in the UK after a 33-year-old man was arrested in Sedgefield this week for the rape and murder of a 17-year-old girl he met through the site.
In other news:
— Erin Barker, Digital Content Reporter, Cable Digital News