As our society has increasingly entered the digital age, so have sex traffickers and pimps.
It is an accepted fact, supported by survivors of sex trafficking, that online posts with pornographic pictures and videos are used to advertise for both sex trafficking and prostitution victims (including minors.) Further, law enforcement is finding that many sex trafficking victims and child sexual abuse imagery (i.e. child pornography) victims are coerced into creating live-stream or webcam pornography as well.
Accounts posting and selling pornographic content, from images to videos to live-streams, and even “escort” dates, are undeniably flourishing on Twitter.
The below screenshots were found on January 7, 2019—we did not include the more graphic posts of visually pornographic content, though these are easy for any user to stumble across.
As long as Twitter continues to allow pornography, and fails to remove ads for sex acts (whether recorded, live streamed, or in person) it is impossible to distinguish between those that are allegedly willingly distributing pornographic content and those whose pages are being managed by a sex trafficker or pimp.
It has been documented by law enforcement that pimps and sex traffickers often either coerce trafficking or child sexual abuse victims into making such advertising posts, or create the posts themselves in their victim’s name. This is what was found to happen on Backpage.com—the notorious classifieds ads website that was recently shut down by the Department of Justice for knowingly facilitating sex trafficking.
How can Twitter be a place for “free expression” where “every voice has the power to impact the world” while allowing accounts that post what amounts to sexual slavery advertisements?Twitter prides itself as being a platform for “free expression” yet refuses to remove accounts posting likely advertisements for sexual slavery. Click To Tweet
We ask that Twitter commit to promoting freedom from sexual exploitation on its platform. Learn more about this campaign here.
Take Action: email Twitter executives by filling out this short form.