Hawley tells Zuckerberg that Facebook may be complicit in human trafficking

Ailan Evans, DCNF

Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley sent a letter Wednesday to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook parent company Meta, requesting information on the tech giant’s human trafficking policy.

Facebook announced plans Monday to continue its policy of allowing users to solicit human smugglers on its platform, citing its desire to protect the needs of “asylum seekers” in an internal memo first reported by The Washington Free Beacon. Facebook justified its decision by appealing to the advice of unnamed “NGOs” and those with “global perspective.”

Hawley questioned the tech giant’s policy in a letter first obtained by the Free Beacon, suggesting Facebook’s behavior may be illegal and that the company may be abetting human trafficking.

“Facebook’s policy of allowing users to solicit smuggling services, for the purpose of illegally entering the country, makes your company complicit in that harm,” Hawley wrote.

The Missouri senator dismissed the company’s justification for the policy, arguing the negative effects of aiding human trafficking outweighed the benefits to asylum seekers.

“No matter what ‘humanitarian’ rationale your company can come up with for allowing individuals to solicit criminal activity, or what ‘resources’ your company intends to provide potential migrants, its current approach is inflicting incalculable damage,” Hawley wrote. “By declining to remove user posts soliciting smuggling services, Facebook is effectively approving a gigantic beacon for human traffickers, who—even if they’re not permitted onto the platform themselves—can easily reach out to their targets through non-Facebook channels.”

“Now, by aiding and abetting illegal border crossings, and thereby placing vulnerable individuals in danger, your company takes its commitment to political and social disintegration to an entirely new level,” the senator added.

Hawley requested Facebook provide his office with information on how the company decided it was better to allow solicitation of human smugglers, and details on how the company was complying with antitrafficking laws.

Meta did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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