Florida summons Zuckerberg to Testify on Meta’s Role in Human Trafficking

By Ayomide Ogunsakin, with additional agency reports

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, has been asked to respond to the “extraordinary” number of cases in which the company’s social media platforms are used to facilitate human trafficking in Florida.

The city of Florida, known for its agricultural economy and a large immigrant population which has made it a prime environment for forced labor, has reported a plethora of sex trafficking, domestic servitude and forced labor cases in recent times.

It was revealed last week that Meta’s platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — were used to facilitate human trafficking in 146 out of the 271 reported cases of social media platforms being used by traffickers to commit their crimes in Florida, between 2019 and 2022.

The numbers were obtained through a statewide survey of its law enforcement agencies that documented which social media platforms are used to assist, facilitate or support human trafficking.

Florida’s Attorney General, Ashley Moody, said,
_“The results were extraordinary… To put this number in perspective, after Meta’s platforms, the next highest social media platform used in human trafficking was Snapchat, and it was utilised 19 times, seven times less than Meta platforms.”_

She added that the survey found that Meta’s platforms were used to recruit victims, as well as in trafficking operations and to control victims, and described the situation as a _“public safety threat”._

Previous investigations have suggested that Meta is struggling to prevent criminals from using its platforms to buy and sell children for sex, and that Messenger, Facebook’s private message platform, is being used by traffickers for buying and selling children.

Moody also stated that,

_“Zuckerberg should be working to make Meta’s existing platforms safer for users and to prevent vulnerable people from being forced into illicit sex work.”_

_“The findings of our statewide survey and other reports make it clear that Meta platforms are the preferred social media applications for human traffickers looking to prey on vulnerable people,”_ she added.

Flowing from these findings, The Attorney General issued a letter to Zuckerberg, requiring him to testify before Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking about Meta’s plans to prevent human traffickers from using its platforms.

The letter has asked Zuckerberg for a response by 5 September.

Dear readers, we really need your support to keep on serving you with authoritative, truthful, and juicy stories everyday. For your support, please reach out to the editor @gavelinternational66@gmail.com

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: