In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week, Florida Republican AG Ashley Moody urged the billionaire to appear in court to discuss how human traffickers are allegedly using Facebook.
In a letter, Moody requested that Zuckerberg show up before Florida’s Statewide Council against Human Trafficking in October, referring to information from law enforcement that claimed Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were routinely used in human trafficking instances.
“Zuckerberg should be trying to make Meta’s current platforms safer for users and to stop vulnerable individuals from being coerced into unlawful sex work before releasing new products or taking up time training for a cage bout that will probably never happen.” In a news statement, Moody, the head of Florida’s human trafficking commission, stated that “the results of our statewide poll and other research demonstrate that Meta platforms are the favored social media apps for human traffickers aiming to prey on vulnerable individuals.”
The council reportedly polled Florida law enforcement organizations to see what potential roles various social media corporations may have had in aiding human trafficking. This is according to Moody’s letter as well. According to Moody, the poll indicated that law enforcement connected Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger to greater than 53% out of 271 human trafficking cases that utilized social media.
Moody wrote in her letter, “I invite you to make an appearance before the Council as both Chair of the Council as well as Florida’s AG in order to discuss this extremely pressing matter and to inform the Council as to what Meta is currently doing in order to stop its platforms from serving as tools used to help, facilitate, or encourage human trafficking.”
Moody asked Zuckerberg to reply to her letter by September 5th. Her letter was published shortly after The Wall Street Journal and academic studies claimed that Instagram was the enabler of a “vast pedophile network.”
Researchers from Stanford University along with the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as The Journal, claimed that Instagram encouraged and supported accounts that publicly bought and commissioned “underage-sex material.”
According to analysts from the Stanford Online Observatory, accounts on Instagram have uploaded “menus” containing improper information, such as “imagery of the minor doing sexual acts with animals.” Other “menus” allegedly included “meet-ups” with youngsters or films of kids inflicting harm on themselves.
Instagram recorded over 5 million cases of “apparent child pornography” in 2022, compared to Facebook’s over 21 million.