Attorney General Ashley Moody Calls on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Testify, As Report Highlights Platform as Top App Used by Human Traffickers

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has issued a formal call for Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before the State’s Human Trafficking Council. This follows a revealing report that highlights Meta platforms – Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger – as the most frequently used by human traffickers.

Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking revealed shocking results in a recent survey of Florida law enforcement agencies. The Florida Legislature had mandated this investigation to assess the prevalence and impact of social media platforms’ role in human trafficking within the state.

Law enforcement agencies were asked to report instances since 2019 where social media had been employed to facilitate human trafficking, including victim recruitment, trafficking operations, or victim control. Agencies were also asked to identify the specific platforms used.

According to the letter from Moody, out of 271 reported instances of social media usage in human trafficking, 146, or over 53%, were linked to Meta platforms – Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. This figure is dramatically higher than that of the second most-used platform, Snapchat, which was implicated in just 19 cases.

According to the 2022 Federal Human Trafficking Report, Facebook was the top platform used for recruitment of human trafficking victims from 2019 to 2022, with Facebook and Instagram combined representing 60% of the top ten platforms cited in the study.

In a joint investigation conducted by The Wall Street Journal and researchers at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it was revealed that Instagram, the social media platform owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is serving as a hub to “connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to the commission and purchase of underage-sex content.”

Unlike traditional forums and file-transfer services associated with illicit content, Instagram’s algorithms actively encourage and recommend such activities, effectively connecting pedophiles and guiding them to content sellers, WSJ reported.

Major social media sites have also reported an increase in suspected instances of child sexual abuse material, which includes child sex trafficking cases. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s 2022 CyberTipline Reports by Electronic Service Providers revealed a shocking 27 million, or 85%, of reported incidents came from Meta platforms.

The Chair of the Council, who also serves as Florida’s Attorney General, has issued an invitation to Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to address these findings before the Council. The next Council meeting is set for October 2, 2023.

“As Chair of the Council, and as Florida’s Attorney General, I invite you to appear before the Council to discuss this very important issue and address the Council as to what Meta is doing to prevent its platforms from being used to assist, facilitate or support human trafficking,” Moody wrote.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody didn’t mince words when addressing Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s responsibility towards user safety on his platforms. Moody suggested that instead of focusing on creating new products or getting involved in improbable publicity stunts—referred to here as a ‘cage match’—Zuckerberg’s time and resources would be better spent improving the safety measures across Meta’s existing platforms.

“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,” Moody said in a statement.

“The findings of our statewide survey and other reports make it clear that Meta platforms are the preferred social media applications for human traffickers looking to prey on vulnerable people. 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,” she added.

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Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

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