Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling for accountability from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg amid a new report that has linked Meta’s many platforms with the facilitation of horrific human trafficking.
Moody’s call for accountability comes after the Florida legislature required the Florida Statewide Council on Human Trafficking to “assess the frequency and extent to which social media platforms are used to assist, facilitate, or support human trafficking” in the Sunshine State, according to a letter that she wrote to the Meta CEO.
Moody clarified, “To meet this statutory objective, we surveyed Florida law enforcement agencies and requested documented instances since 2019 in which social media may have been used to facilitate human trafficking, including recruitment, trafficking operations or control over the victim. We also asked those agencies to identify which social media platforms were used.”
She revealed that the council’s result confirmed the following:
- 146 of 271 instances of social media platform use in human trafficking were linked to Meta’s platforms, which include Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger,
- The second most-used platform for the facilitation of human trafficking was Snapchat,
- Facebook was the “top platform in recruitment of human trafficking victims from 2019-2022,”
- 85 percent of reported human trafficking/child sex trafficking and abuse instances were reported from Meta platforms (27 million instances).
The attorney general has invited Zuckerberg to appear before the council in October 2023, and she has demanded a response to her invitation no later than Sept. 5.
Moody is seeking to find out what, if any, precautions Meta is taking to “prevent its platforms from being used to assist, facilitate or support human trafficking.”
Human trafficking has become an increasingly overwhelming problem within the U.S. and abroad.
Trafficking has risen significantly over the past year, with arrests rising by 50 percent in the U.S., according to the Heritage Foundation. They also reported that human trafficking is a $150 billion global business.
Recently, the fight against human trafficking was brought into the mainstream limelight with the release of the independent film, “Sound of Freedom,” which focuses on the story of Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard and his fight against the evils of human and child trafficking and exploitation.