With over 2 billion active users around the world, Facebook is a vital tool for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. However, that also includes individuals who may be promoting an illegal service. A new report from Sky News this week detailed how many human traffickers are openly using Facebook to advertise their services and tout “success stories.”
According to the report, human smugglers often focus on crafting a “reputation” online, not unlike how reputable businesses seek good reviews from customers. As a result, the smugglers post video testimonials from migrants and refugees who successfully make it into Europe by using the smugglers’ services. However, these sunny posts leave out how dangerous—and illegal—this kind of journey is. Thankfully, experts are also analyzing the posts to stop these operations in their tracks and save innocent people.
“As everywhere, education matters,” Dr. Paolo Campana, an expert in criminal networks, told Sky News. “Accessing and evaluating information through channels such as Facebook could mean the difference between life and death.”
Of course, the question must be asked: how much does Facebook know about this problem, and what can it do about it? The company’s policies forbid this kind of illegal activity from taking place on its pages, but enforcing those rules is a different and far more difficult task.