Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Family Sues Facebook, Instagram for Enabling Traffickers

  • Published on
    November 15, 2018
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Technology & Tools
Hero Banner

A Houston family is suing Facebook and Instagram over claims that the social media titans failed to protect their child from human traffickers.

“For years now, Facebook and Instagram platforms has permitted sex traffickers unfiltered access to the most vulnerable members of society,” said a lawyer for the family, Annie McAdams.

“I think parents need to understand that simply looking at who your children are friends with on social media is not enough,” she added.

“Traffickers routinely infiltrate or take over victim’s social media accounts to communicate and recruit with new kids.”

ABC 13 reports:

The lawsuit claims the sites have “treated our children as a commodity, and participated in the trafficking of thousands of our children.”

There is an Instagram post shared by the victim’s family that says their 15-year-old daughter’s account was being used by other sex traffickers to lure in victims.

The mother told Eyewitness News that she asked for help, but claims nothing was done.

“We included one of the alerts that says “This site is being used to traffic children. Do something about it. And they did nothing. That is why this lawsuit was filed,” McAdams said. “If they are not going to listen to their users, they will respond to a Harris County jury.”

“We’re seeking radical disruption in the way these social media giants operate. The way you do that is you punish them with money damages. It’s the only thing a corporation will understand,” McAdams said.

Facebook says it has a team of experts that review content, but the lawsuit alleges that this is not a reality or effective. Facebook and Instagram have not responded to ABC 13’s request for comment.

Rebecca Beavers works with trafficking victims through the Anti-Trafficking Alliance, and she confirmed that social media is often a means traffickers use to trick their victims.

“I think they’re turning a blind eye and don’t want to admit this is happening,” Beavers said. “It’s a big business.”


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

European cocaine gangs using forced labor to exploit children

A recent investigation by The Guardian found the continent’s £10bn appetite for cocaine has led to forced child labor on an equally massive scale. Increasingly powerful drug cartels are forcing hundreds, possibly thousands, of unaccompanied child migrants to work as drug sellers on European streets. They do this to meet the growing demand for cocaine in cities including Paris and Brussels. Industrial scale exploitation The increase in refugees

| Tuesday June 11, 2024

Read more