Florida AG calls on Mark Zuckerberg to stop child traffickers exploiting kids online: ‘Public safety threat’

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is demanding Mark Zuckerberg explain the high volume of human trafficking across Meta platforms after an eerie report revealed pedophiles are using the metaverse to sexually exploit children.  Moody sent a letter to Zuckerberg Monday, inviting the CEO to speak with Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking on what preventative measures, if any, the tech giant is taking to end human trafficking on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. “Before launching new products or wasting time preparing for a cage match that will likely never happen, Zuckerberg should be working to make Meta’s existing platforms safer for users and to prevent vulnerable people from being forced into illicit sex work,” Moody wrote in a press release. “Zuckerberg needs to immediately turn his attention to this public safety threat and testify to our council about what Meta is doing to prevent its platforms from being used to assist, facilitate or support human trafficking,” the attorney general said in an effort to combat sex trafficking operations taking place on popular social media platforms. PEDOPHILES ARE USING THE METAVERSE TO LURE UNSUSPECTING CHILDREN, ACCORDING TO POLICE DATA Moody cited “extraordinary” findings from a statewide survey with Florida law enforcement agencies that reportedly found “146 of the 271 reported instances of social media platform use in human trafficking were attributable to Meta platforms (lnstagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger).” Facebook was reportedly the top platform used for the recruitment of human trafficking victims from 2019 to 2022, according to the 2022 Federal Human Trafficking report that also found 53% of traffickers use the internet to solicit buyers of commercial sex. SEXUAL PREDATORS ARE CONTACTING KIDS IN THE METAVERSE, EXPERT SAYS TO WATCH OUT FOR THESE ‘RED FLAGS’ The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s 2022 CyberTipline, a site that receives tips of child sexual abuse material, received a total of 32 million reports in 2022.  The majority of material containing potential online child exploitation were flagged on Meta platforms, with the tip line receiving over 21 million reports from Facebook and 5 million from Instagram in 2022 alone. Despite data revealing over 25 million reports of potential online exploitation of children on Meta, the Big Tech company told Fox News Digital that “the claims in this press release inaccurately depict our efforts to remove this kind of illegal activity and work with law enforcement.” ‘SOUND OF FREEDOM’ MOVIE PROMPTS CRUCIAL CALL TO ACTION: ‘GOD’S CHILDREN ARENO LONGER FOR SALE’ “We prohibit all forms of human exploitation in no uncertain terms, and we work aggressively to fight these abhorrent crimes on and off our platforms,” a Meta spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “The claims in this press release inaccurately depict our efforts to remove this kind of illegal activity and work with law enforcement so that the criminals behind it can be arrested and prosecuted.” While Meta assured they “will continue to inform and partner with the state attorneys general on these critical matters,” they did not say whether Zuckerberg would respond to Moody’s letter by the Sept. 5 deadline. Meta recently came under fire after the U.K.’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) published a report that showed the metaverse is being used by pedophiles to sexually exploit children.  “For the first time, virtual reality environments, such as the Metaverse which is accessed through Oculus headsets, were found to be involved in child sexual abuse image crimes,” NSPCC reported, citing eight instances in which children were involved in exploitation using virtual reality headsets, via data from via U.K police. Fox News’ Joe Silverstein contributed to this report.
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