Earlier this year The Drill Down reported on two stories regarding social media apps aiding cartels in smuggling humans across the border: TikTok —The Preferred Social Media App for Drug Cartels South of the Border and Human Smuggling is Now Facebook Friendly: Read Meta’s Shocking Internal Memo.
This was from an internal Meta memo earlier this year —stakeholders preferred offering solicitations for smuggling services.
“We observed that a slight majority of stakeholders favored allowing solicitations of smuggling services for reasons associated with asylum seekers. We decided that this was indeed the best option since the risks could be mitigated by sending resources, whereas the risks of removing such content could not be mitigated.”
As for TikTok, smugglers are all over China’s favorite data collector, trying to find recruits.
“Cartels are trying to get workers. They’re trying to recruit people to help them out. [They] show lots of money, they show lots of drinking, partying, and everything else,” Commander Jorge Esparza of the Brooks County Sheriff Department told the Washington Free Beacon during a recent trip to the border. “The way I look at it is, if social media companies are getting mad at somebody for making a comment about race or sexuality or something, I think they should be held more accountable” for what cartels are posting.
Now it sounds like GOP Senators are finally getting around to digging into the troubling relationship between human trafficking and popular social media apps.
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Steve Daines (R-MT) send a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday accusing him of failing to get these smuggling schemes under control on his platforms.
“Cartel smugglers often use those sites, the Wall Street Journal reported last month, to anonymously post advertisements promising thousands of dollars to Americans in border states if they complete a short driving job, which really consists of picking up illegal migrants who have just crossed into the United States,” WFB reports.
The GOP Senators say Meta should be able to shut down those posts, which they say have “led to a devastating amount of drug and human trafficking and other forms of violent crime.”
“Although your company has developed—and long enjoyed the benefits of—incredibly complex algorithms and other technology to keep users addicted, you claim to be unable to curb these illegal immigration schemes,” the letter, which the Washington Free Beacon obtained exclusively, states. “You have the ability to address this problem, and it is critical that you take immediate steps to stop facilitating illegal immigration on your platform.”
Meta released a statement in response to the letter, claiming the platform “prohibits the facilitation of human smuggling and invests in technology and works with law enforcement to address the issue.”
But we know that “stakeholders favored allowing solicitations” so we know that’s a lie.
Cracking down on human trafficking shouldn’t be controversial —it didn’t used to be.