A recent ruling by the Texas Supreme Court determined that Facebook could be held liable if child sex traffickers use the platform to abduct children. The court decided that Facebook isn’t a lawless playground where predators can just take advantage of children.
According to Fox News, the decision was made after several lawsuits in Texas revealed that teenagers were being preyed upon using Facebook’s messenger application. Prosecutors involved with the case believe that Facebook executives turned a blind eye when it comes to preventing sex traffickers from running rampant on their site.
Facebook in 2020 used millions of dollars to prevent “fake news” from spreading on their app; they even hired third parties like Reuters to do it for them.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg also used a large amount of resources and money to help liberal organizations during the 2020 presidential election; however, when it comes to putting that same amount of time and money into preventing child sex trafficking on Facebook, Zuckerberg has shied away from addressing it as a problem.
Facebook Tried To Hide Behind Section 230
Facebook contended the Supreme Court’s decision that states that the social media platform should be held liable for child sex traffickers using their site to prey on children and young adults.
In defense, Facebook declared they are not responsible for what third parties post on their site; ultimately, this argument made no difference. The judge denied Facebook’s liability immunity and noted that Section 230 shouldn’t be used to protect platforms that facilitate child sex trafficking.
Big news from the Texas Supreme Court today.
"We do not understand section 230 to “create a lawless no-man’s-land on the Internet” in which states are powerless to impose liability on websites that knowingly or intentionally participate in the evil of online human trafficking." pic.twitter.com/yDvZoMm1HR
— Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanTAnd) June 25, 2021
Facebook’s defense should stun parents everywhere, considering Zuckerberg and Facebook executives took extra steps to have President Trump and other conservatives voices banned from their platform; however, when it comes to child sex traffickers wreaking havoc on their site, Facebooks seems to not show the same energy.
What is Section 230 Exactly?
Section 230 of the Communications Decency act of 1996 provides immunity for Big Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google from civil liabilities, based on what third-party members do on the platform. Section 230 also gives the same platforms the authority to remove content they feel is obscene, lewd, violent, and much more.
President Trump attempted to abolish Section 230 during his last days in the White House; it didn’t happen because Congress was too busy arguing over how big the stimulus checks should be. Therefore, an opportunity to hold big tech companies accountable for censorship and negligence faded away.
Trump even vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, due to the fact it didn’t contain any reform of Section 230.
Texas Supreme Court says Section 230 doesn't mean Facebook can operate as a "lawless no-man's-land” in finding that Facebook failed to protect against teen sex trafficking, thus paving the way for tech companies to be held liable when they're used for criminal activity. https://t.co/rD12SO6m4p
— Minerva Canto (@MinervaCanto) June 26, 2021
Child Sex Trafficking In The United Sates Statistics
According to the Department of Justice, over 17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States for sexual exploitations and over 200,000 American citizens are trafficked as well.
Due to the hidden nature of child sex trafficking, these statistics do not account for all the missing children which could raise those numbers enormously. Democrat-run areas like California and Nevada lead all states in reports of human sex trafficking.