Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office has been looking into the massive child trafficking networks on social media platforms that have been operating in plain sight in her state. Dozens of Florida children have been trafficked on Facebook and Meta, and AG Moody is furious that the social media giant has been facilitating this.
Moody has now called Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify about his company’s role in this horrendous crime.
A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal did a major story on a global pedophilia and child porn network that was basically operating in plain sight on Facebook and other social media companies. Nothing happened. Everyone just forgot about it and moved on.
But not the Attorney General of Florida.
Moody sent out word to 80 agencies, including all of Florida’s sheriff’s departments and major metro police departments. She asked for them to compile all the data they had on social media platforms being used to facilitate human trafficking.
The results of that query found that Facebook had been used in 72 separate trafficking cases and Instagram had been used in 65. There were also a handful of cases on WhatsApp and FB Messenger, all owned by the same company.
Those numbers are far higher than the next culprit—Snapchat—which had 19 cases. Virtually every social media company has been used to facilitate one or more child trafficking crimes, but Facebook is the worst by far.
More than half of all trafficking cases in Florida involved subsidiaries of Meta/Facebook.
When announcing the results, AG Moody stated, “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.”
A 15-member Statewide Council on Human Trafficking was established by the Florida legislature, and Moody is the chair of the council.
“Zuckerberg needs to immediately turn his attention to this public safety threat and testify to our council about what Meta is doing to prevent its platforms from being used to assist, facilitate or support human trafficking,” said Moody.
Zuckerberg’s company has been fighting multiple lawsuits in recent years over this issue. Most of the social media giants have insisted that it’s just too tough to police everything all at once on their platforms, so they try to take things down as quickly as possible.
That doesn’t pass the smell test, however, when you think about how quickly, ruthlessly and efficiently the social media platforms will take down posts from Christians, conservatives and Trump supporters whenever they want to. They’re right on top of censoring content they dislike.
The creepy thing is the companies don’t seem to be bothered enough by child sex trafficking to take it seriously.
Moody sent a letter to Zuckerberg this week demanding that he appear before the council to explain what, if anything, his company is doing to reduce incidents of sex trafficking. She has requested a response from Zuckerberg no later than September 5th. The council’s next meeting is on October 2nd.
Zuckerberg has yet to issue any public statements about his company being identified as the largest facilitator of child trafficking and exploitation on the internet. Facebook has tried unsuccessfully to hide behind Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act as a defense.
In 2021, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that Section 230 is not an adequate defense for Facebook to hide behind, and therefore ruled that individuals and entities have the right to bring lawsuits against the company.