Facebook Linked to Sex Trafficking?

Issue 77

Facebook is in hot water after three women filed lawsuits against the company for being forced into prostitution by people who used the social media platform.

Facebook may be held liable due to the claims that Facebook failed to warn minors of the possible dangers of strangers on the internet as well as failing to properly block sex trafficking activity on the platform.  The women argued that Facebook could use advertisement space to inform women of the dangers of sex trafficking but are reluctant to do so because the company would rather sell the ad space.

Facebook argued back stating that they are not responsible for anything that their users post under Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act.  However, this was rejected by the Supreme Court stating that, “The statutory claim for knowingly or intentionally benefiting from participation in a human-trafficking venture is not barred by Section 230.”

The question now becomes what the level of regulation should be on social media platforms and should companies be liable for the posts and actions that are taken on the site.  Some argue for further regulation in hopes to prevent further criminal activities from taking place, while others are concerned that greater regulation of posts would limit the freedom of speech on a given social media platform.

Source: Bloomberg