A new report reveals that Facebook was fully aware that its platform was host to a sex trafficking ring in 2019 when a man was arrested for the scheme.
Yet federal records give no indication that the tech giant worked with authorities on the case.
A sex trafficking ring operated by a Florida man managed to recruit hundreds of Asian women to the United States with hollow promises of marriage and money before it was busted up and, as the company confirmed to USA Today as reported by The Toronto Sun, Facebook knew what was happening.
Although Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says the company was concerned about “reputational risk,” a spokesperson for the company says that they were “probably” working on handing information over to federal investigators when sex trafficker David Williams was arrested and charged in 2019.
According to authorities, over 100 women were brought from Asia, primarily the Philippines, and installed in seedy massage parlors in Pennsylvania, Florida, and Virginia, where they were prostituted.
Facebook also bragged that they “disrupted” the network and disabled the 84 pages and 22 accounts that were used to facilitate it.
“We’ve been combatting human trafficking on our platform for many years and our goal remains to prevent anyone who seeks to exploit others from having a home on our platform,” a Facebook spokesperson told USA Today.
Facebook has long been accused of inaction when it comes to preventing human and sex trafficking schemes.
Earlier this year, a Texas court ruled that Facebook can be held liable for not doing enough to prevent teens from being recruited for trafficking on its platform.
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