A woman is suing Facebook for allegedly enabling underage sex trafficking after she was raped and trafficked at age 15 by a man who added her as a “friend” on the social network.
The unnamed woman claimed company executives “knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform,” according to Reuters.
“According to the lawsuit, the woman was ‘friended’ on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know several of her real-life friends. The man messaged her through Facebook,” Reuters reported. “The lawsuit alleges that at one point following an argument with her mother, the trafficker offered to console her, but after picking her up from her home he beat and raped her and took pictures that were posted on Backpage.com.”
The unnamed woman, who is also suing the now-defunct Backpage, has complained that the social media giant did not verify the sex trafficker’s identity or warn users on the social network of sex trafficking schemes.
Sex-related crimes have become rampant on Facebook, and in 2016, it was revealed that the Islamic State had been selling teenage sex slaves on the social network.
In 2017, a man was sentenced to twenty years in prison for using fake Facebook profiles to “pressure young girls into sending him compromising nude selfies,” and in the same year, three men were arrested for livestreaming the rape of a woman on the platform.
In February, the FBI issued a warning to Facebook users against sharing child pornography videos on the platform, which some users had been sharing in an attempt to alert Facebook moderators and get the content removed, while in March, Facebook apologized for pornographic search suggestions which were suggesting users search for “video of little girl giving oral.”
Revenge porn and “sextortion” are also problems on Facebook, with the company reportedly assessing nearly 54,000 cases in just one month.
Last week, it was announced that a former Facebook content moderator was suing Facebook for giving her psychological trauma and PTSD after she was made to watch “torture, rape, child sexual abuse, beheadings, bestiality, suicide, and murder” as part of the job.
Another former Facebook content moderator revealed her experiences in July, which included being made to watch child porn of two children — nine and twelve-years-old — “touching each other” while someone filmed.
The moderator claimed Facebook would instruct her not to suspend accounts which shared the content.