Facebook: America's Biggest Human Trafficker?

"Every person on this earth is created in the image of God – uniquely, beautifully, and perfectly. Their value is priceless, and they are not for sale." -Tim Tebow

One of my favorite warriors in the fight against human trafficking, Eliza Bleu, has been sharing on her Twitter feed how Facebook is guilty of human trafficking on their site, and profiting from human trafficking. As many of you know, I often write about the connection between social media giants like Facebook or Twitter and human trafficking. It really ticks me off that no one is talking about this issue in the media. This is an issue that should affect all Americans.

According to a 2020 report from the Human Trafficking Institute, the majority of human trafficking and sex trafficking took place on Facebook. The CEO of Human Trafficking Institute, Victor Boutros, told CBSN the following statement: "The internet has become the dominant tool that traffickers use to recruit victims, and they often recruit them on a number of very common social networking websites. Facebook overwhelmingly is used by traffickers to recruit victims in active sex trafficking cases." (Source: CBS News)

The report stated that "59% of online victim recruitment in active sex trafficking cases occurred on Facebook, making it by far the most frequently referenced website or app in public sources connected with these prosecutions, which was also true in 2019." In addition, the shocking aspect is that Facebook isn't a popular platform for teenagers compared to adults. However, children were victims of traffickers compared to adult victims. "65% of child victims recruited on social media were recruited through Facebook compared to just 36% of adults." Facebook claims to be trying to fight this, but nothing has really changed. These numbers were high in 2019 as well. They're responsible for allowing pimps and traffickers to profit and reach victims. (Source/Image credit: Human Trafficking Institute)

I'm currently reading Stolen: The True Story of a Sex Trafficking Survivor by Katariina Rosenblatt. She discusses her experience of being sex trafficked as a child, and how she escaped. Book review coming soon! Reading her experience made me realize that human sex trafficking has worsened today because of the Internet and social media. Now add that to children being locked at home during the pandemic with nothing to do besides go online, what do you think will happen? Traffickers took advantage

Believe it or not, there's even more. Facebook has a few lawsuits against them. Three being from three girls who were sex trafficked as minors on the website. "The girls were 13, 14 and 16 years old when they were recruited by pimps through the company’s apps." (Source: Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) To make matters worse, Facebook has tried (and failed) to get the lawsuit dismissed. Their defense was the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which basically protects companies like Facebook from getting complete blame for pimps or traffickers from using their service. The judge then pointed out the 2017 Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which amended the 1996 Act to make it illegal for big tech companies to enable traffickers or pimps. Interestingly enough, this bill was signed into law by former President Trump.

I've discussed a lot, but here's what I'd like to conclude with. Facebook must be held accountable. Why is it that the trafficker will receive penalty, but not the platform who allowed this? Facebook is able to say they are keeping Trump banned until 2022, but can't say that they will ban anyone involved in sex trafficking of minors?! Eliza Bleu said, "Facebook is America's biggest human trafficker." They need to be held accountable. Share this article and call them out. Like Tim Tebow stated, "We can never stop fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves."

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