A citizens group out to catch suspected pedophiles reportedly found one that the tech giant Meta admits was an employee.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Thursday that Jeren Miles, manager of community development at Meta — the parent company of Facebook — was filmed by members of Predator Catchers Indianapolis, which tracks individuals it believes are potential pedophiles.
The group is not officially connected with law enforcement but posts videos online of those it has connected with the potential sexual exploitation of children.
The man whom citizen activists were targeting identified himself as “Jeren” and the “manager of community development,” according to a lengthy video posted on YouTube on Thursday.
The DCNF said a Meta representative confirmed that the person in the video was a Meta employee but said he no longer worked there.
“The seriousness of these allegations cannot be overstated,” the representative said. “The individual is no longer employed with the company. We are actively investigating this situation and cannot provide further comment at this time.”
In this case, the group was seeking someone who sent sexually explicit texts to a person posing as a 13-year-old boy.
“I was flirting, I was talking to him,” the man in the video admitted, but he claimed that “there was never any intention of meeting up with him.”
The man later said that intention had changed.
“I gave information, I gave a location,” he said.
In his blog, journalist Andy Ngo reported that the chat logs and other evidence had been sent to law enforcement in Columbus, Ohio, and Palm Springs, California, where the man lives.
The Indianapolis group is among several online activists hunting sexual predators.
“After realizing that the justice system was not stepping up and doing what they should be doing to protect children from predators, it was obvious that the people must stand up to these problems,” the group said on its website.
“The way I see it, the justice system is not doing what it needs to do as far as locking up these guys and giving them actual sentences,” PCI President Eric Schmutte said, according to USA Today.
“So, us exposing them is the next best thing so people can at least know that these guys are predators,” Schmutte said.
“It’s very insulting for people to tell us that we’re doing it for the views or the clout, just to be famous or whatever,” he said. “Because we put a lot of work into what we do and we take it very seriously.”
In December, a top executive at Sony Corp. was fired after he was featured in a video posted by a similar group that says it hunts sexual predators.