Facebook has long struggled to keep bad actors off its platform, but the problem may be even worse than previously thought. The Human Trafficking Institute released its annual report this week, revealing that an astonishing 59 percent of all online sex trafficking recruitment occurs on Facebook, and 65 percent of child exploitation.
“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,” said Victor Boutros, CEO of the Human Trafficking Institute. “Facebook overwhelmingly is used by traffickers to recruit victims in active sex trafficking cases.”
For its part, Facebook said that this content is obviously not allowed, and that it relies on technology to detect and remove it before it can reach users.
“Sex trafficking and child exploitation are abhorrent and we don’t allow them on Facebook,” the social media giant said in response. “We have policies and technology to prevent these types of abuses and take down any content that violates our rules.”
However, if the majority of online sex trafficking content lives on Facebook, it’s clear the platform still has a lot of work to do to clean up the problem.
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