- Tram Ho
A Delaware couple have been accused of conspiring to traffic people and slaves for decades via Facebook. The platform is mainly used to find and control vulnerable women with a history of drug use to scam. Evidence from DHS also shows that the target audience includes women with previous convictions who are looking for work after being released from prison.
According to court documents cited by Forbes, 66-year-old Clifton Gibbs, assisted by his “right-hand man” Brooke Walters, will find victims in Facebook and other neighborhoods with high levels of drug abuse. Last March, DHS also accused Gibbs of communicating via Facebook with a man who ran a nonprofit organization dedicated to “helping” female prisoners. Gibbs first paid for their photographs, then pretended to send them to Delaware, claiming to be “assisting” the prisoners. According to the Justice Department, the trick was part of a “plan to recruit vulnerable people”.
After taking control of the victims, Gibbs asked them to do a variety of jobs, from stealing (and then reselling on Facebook Marketplace) to cleaning the house, taking care of him. According to the testimony of 1 of the 13 victims, someone stole items worth about 100,000 USD.
The incident sheds more light on the type of crime that experts say has existed for so many years on Facebook. In March of this year, several pension funds and investment funds that own Meta shares also filed lawsuits accusing Mark Zuckerberg and his management of turning a blind eye to evidence of human trafficking. In 2021, leaked documents were also accessed by the WSJ, indicating that Facebook abets slavery activities in the Middle East and Africa.
If the above allegations are proven to be true, the case surrounding a man named Gibbs will paint a terrible picture of reality for victims in the US – who are coerced, controlled and forced to participate. Join a dangerous criminal organization through social networks.
Data from Polaris, which operates a national hotline for victims of slavery, shows that Facebook was the site of greatest relevance throughout 2020 and 2021 (data from 2022 is yet to be released). complete.) Based on calls through the hotline in 2021, it was found that up to 10% of exploitative sex or labor recruitment practices originate from Facebook. With Instagram, the rate is at 7%.
Explaining why Facebook continues to be popular with traffickers, Polaris’ communications director Rafael Flores Ávalos says it’s likely because Meta users frequently share about their lives. . “Once you share a certain amount of information about your personal life, the process of reaching victims of human trafficking rings becomes easy,” said Rafael Flores Ávalos, noting that there is growing There is a significant increase in the use of Facebook and Instagram.
In response, Facebook spokesperson Erin McPike said, “We’re working with law enforcement,” noting that Meta has invested heavily in technology and partnered with organizations. like Polaris to deal with the situation. The US attorney’s office in Delaware, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment. Lawyers for Gibbs also did not give any information.
Meanwhile, the government has been collecting vast amounts of data from Facebook to build prosecution evidence. 89,000 pages of documents were accessed, showing Gibbs regularly used Facebook to commit fraud. The Justice Department said the disclosure of such massive data was “particularly remarkable”.
Source : Genk