An Arizona-based organization dedicated to stopping sex trafficking, Project 25/VAST, is urging the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to take legal action against Facebook. The request follows the Texas Supreme Court ruling against Facebook, finding that the company can be held liable for the facilitation of minor sex trafficking.
Contrary to Facebook’s claims that they were protected by Section 230, the Court ruled that Section 230 does not mean the company can operate as a “lawless no-man’s land.”
“We are confident that there are many current cases in which Facebook solicitation was used in Arizona to either recruit, promote or both in many active minor sex trafficking cases, that are currently being prosecuted. Please add your voice to our chorus and make use of the resources of the Attorney General’s Office to hold the Big Tech giants accountable,” wrote Kathleen Winn, Executive Director of Project 25/VAST.
The Texas court found: “Holding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing. This is particularly the case for human trafficking.”
Last year experts saw the highest online recruitment instances of sex trafficking in the country. Each one of those instances involve a victim, according to Winn. Many of those victims were initially recruited through Facebook.
“While we recognize the importance of protecting free speech, we all know that those protections do not extend to speech that is an element of a crime,” wrote Winn. “Please use the full force of your Office to join in this effort to pursue cases with local law enforcement to protect our children and our children’s innocence.”
“Arizona has strict laws against those who facilitate this crime. Texas as Arizona has received the brunt of the illegal crossings and increased trafficking. Please stand with Texas and hold Facebook to account and prevent the company from benefiting financially from abetting criminal activities,” Winn urged Attorney General Mark Brnovich in her letter.