Friday, February 11, 2011

Federal Crimes on Facebook

Typically, my research into human trafficking includes interviewing people, scouring the internet, the occasional records vault at a town hall or police station, among others. Usually, this level of research leads to.....yet more research. What you discover just brings up more questions which demand yet more research to answer.

Last week that all changed. A few days ago, as I was investigating human trafficking abuses on Facebook, my research led me to the FBI. I left their offices moments ago where I met with a very helpful and deeply concerned Special Agent. Here is what I reported to him:
"I am in the final stages of researching a book on commercial sexual exploitation in the United States. Much of the book focuses on the internet and how it is used by those involved in human trafficking and child pornography. As an essential part of my research, I created a Facebook (FB) "avatar" (fake) profile. On January 27, 2011, at approximately 10:30 a.m. (EST), through the the avatar profile I requested acceptance into the closed FB group, “sex litllle girls."

Moments later, the avatar was accepted into the group by a profile known as Marcos Robson. At the time of avatar’s acceptance, there were 30 photographs posted on this particular Facebook group. These photographs were explicit images of girls appearing to range in ages between 3 and 9 years. The images showed these girls involved in vaginal, oral, and anal sex acts. Some are bound with duct tape. According to the group’s Facebook “wall,” “sex litlle girls” was created at approximately 7 PM EST on January 26, 2011 by a Facebook profile named Lourdes Tromcos. On January 27, 2011, at 11:15 a.m. EST, “sex litlle girls” had 51 members and the number of photos posted had grown to 37 including one with what appeared to be a female newborn and the genitals of an adult male."

Keep in mind, this is not some hidden, back channel way for pedophiles to trade images under the radar. This is Facebook. They are openly using Facebook's system to display and trade images of children being sexually attacked. In reporting the crime to the FBI, which is any citizen's responsibility upon witnessing a federal crime as I had, I hope to motivate an investigation as to why Facebook allows these postings to continue.

While the FBI - who are massively overworked - does there job, it is time for us to do ours. Please tell Facebook that you insist they implement software - Which Is In Existence Right Now - that will not allow these photos to be posted.

I will have much more information coming soon. This is an extensive and ongoing investigation of Facebook and Human Trafficking and we are just getting started.