What are social media companies doing to combat the scourge of human trafficking haunting communities across the country? Unfortunately, the answer is more concerning than the question. Just last month, prosecutors in Texas were back in Court seeking to convict traffickers who used social media apps like Snapchat and Facebook to coerce victims into a cycle of abuse. Many have advocated that social media platforms need to fix their filtering and monitoring trends to protect the impressionable minor population. Just a week ago, an ex-employee of Facebook testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that these platforms have ignored repeated calls to bring an end to this abuse, even when the company's own staff fall victim to these criminal actors.
Yet a majority of the resources these companies use for policing their own platforms go towards limiting speech. As House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan revealed, social media companies partnered with the Federal government and non-profits to silence the voices of those who dare criticize their policies and practices. These companies should be dedicating their time and money to removing the actual crimes occurring on their platforms daily. As the former Facebook employee stated in his testimony even though staff have raised complaints to the company's leadership, no significant changes have been made. Stated more simply: “we can’t trust them with our children.” Social media platforms like Facebook need to be held accountable to pursue significant changes to their filter and reporting processes to protect vulnerable populations like children from predators and traffickers.