Thursday 13 July 2023

Florida AG Asks Zuckerberg To Testify On Human Traffickers’ Reported Use Of Facebook

 Florida Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody wrote a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week asking the billionaire to testify about the alleged use of Facebook by human traffickers. 

In the letter, dated Monday, Moody asked Zuckerberg to appear before Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking in October, citing reports from law enforcement who have said that human trafficking cases frequently involved Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. 

“Before launching new products or wasting time preparing for a cage match that will likely never happen, 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,” said Moody, who is the chair of Florida’s human trafficking council, in a press release. 

According to Moody’s letter, the council surveyed Florida law enforcement agencies to see what role various social media companies may have played in facilitating human trafficking. Moody said the survey found that more than 53% of the 271 human trafficking cases that involved social media were linked by law enforcement to Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. 

“As Chair of the Council, and as Florida’s Attorney General, I invite you to appear before the Council to discuss this very important issue and address the Council as to what Meta is doing to prevent its platforms from being used to assist, facilitate or support human trafficking,” Moody wrote in her letter. 

Moody requested that Zuckerberg respond by September 5 to her request. Her letter comes on the heels of a report from The Wall Street Journal and academic researchers that accused Instagram of facilitating a “vast pedophile network.” 


The Journal, alongside researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said that Instagram allowed and promoted accounts that openly purchased and commissioned “underage-sex content.”

Accounts on Instagram have posted “menus” that offered inappropriate content, including “imagery of the minor performing sexual acts with animals,” according to researchers from the Stanford Internet Observatory. Other “menus” reportedly offered videos of children hurting themselves or “meet-ups” with kids.

In 2022, Facebook reported more than 21 million instances of “apparent child pornography” while Instagram reported over 5 million. 

Post a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search