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Human Trafficking and Social Media

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

Social media has not only been used to lure human trafficking victims, but also to sell them into the sex industry and even the labor industry. Traffickers can essentially remain anonymous and use any persona they choose.

The Human Trafficking Hotline has recorded recruitment on Facebook, Instagram,, Kik, Instagram, SnapChat, Whatsapp, and dating sites/apps like Tinder, Grindr, and Plenty of Fish. They also use Craigslist and Backdoor. If you receive a friend request from someone you don't know, block them immediately. It doesn't matter if the person appears to be female, women can be traffickers, too. If you recive a message from a friend, verify that it is them. I have received many messages from who I thought was a Facebook friend, but was actually someone impersonating them. You should notify your friend and the social media platform immediately! Then block the impersonator.

“If just one of them answers … traffickers can make thousands of dollars off that girl very quickly,” said Andrea Powell, founder and director of FAIR Girls, a U.S.-based NGO which helps trafficked girls worldwide.

Powell said a growing trend in the United States is to use WhatsApp or Snapchat where messages evaporate over ti