Reddit users flag ‘Hanap Jowa’ Facebook groups with minors as preference

November 26, 2021 - 4:38 PM
A Facebook logo is pictured in Bordeaux, southwestern France, March 10, 2016. (Reuters/Regis Duvignau/Illustration/File Photo)

Some users of an online forum sought help to report suspicious Facebook pages that seemed to promote child exploitation on the platform.

A Reddit user shared on November 23 a TikTok video that showed some disturbing contents of a Facebook page called “Hanap jowa 11 to 13.”

It was shared on r/Philippines, an online forum for issues and other topics related to the Philippines.

“FBI open up,” the online user wrote.

The short video showed photos of the public group page’s profile and some of the posts there.

Based on the clip, the group has 124,400 members and is visible to the public.

The posts showed a certain man who appeared to be looking for a partner preferably between the ages of 11 and 13 years old.

The post was upvoted over 2,000 times on the forum.

In the discussion section, other Reddit users expressed alarm over such group pages. They urged others to help report them to Facebook and to proper authorities.

“Dude, this needs to stop…Kailangang mareport yang group na yan sa kinauukulan. Ni hindi pa pasok sa consenting age yung hanap nila at kung lumagpas nga dun (depende sa age range), it still reeks of pedophilia,” one Reddit user said.

“Pedophiles are so normalized in our culture that FB groups exist for these men. Kill it with fire!” another online user wrote.

Others raised the possibility of the police creating online accounts for entrapment operations.

“Would be interesting if PNP created pages like this specifically for trapping walking trash bags like him,” one Reddit user said.

Another online user speculated if these groups were made by teenagers themselves to fool around.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the group was made by actual 11-13 year olds given how much they’re exposed to socmed made worse by the pandemic. I mean they made a group for sharing homework modules. Yun lang this group is worse and it will attract the worse kind of offenders,” the user said.

A new scheme?

Cursory check on Facebook revealed that there are several online groups with the name “Hanap jowa” or “looking for a partner, lover” in English.

Most of them can be accessed publicly, while others are for members-only.

The preferred age range also differs per group.

Nevertheless, all of them seemed to prefer minors as young as 11 years old as their “lovers.”

The numbers of their members also vary from a hundred to more than 10,000.

Screenshot of Facebook pages called “Hanap Jowa” captured on 26 November 2021

Moreover, the profiles and photos of the pages are quite identical.

This made it difficult to determine if the exact page shown on the TikTok video is still an active Facebook group.

One Reddit user who commented on the main post recalled the controversial “Mahilig sa Bata” Facebook pages that were reported last year.

“Naalala ko na tuloy ung group dati sa facebook “samahan ng mga mahilig sa bata”. T*ng*na kadiri,” one user said.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, also a women’s rights activist, sought help from the public to report the ‘Mahilig sa Bata’ pages that were involved in sexually exploiting children online.

As of writing, the Senate Bill No. 2068 also known as the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children law or Anti-OSAEC Law has yet to be signed into law.

READ: Hontiveros urges public to report social media pages sexually exploiting children online anew (