Policy comes amid surge in Facebook groups devoted to human smuggling Immigrants detained in McAllen, Texas / Getty Images Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, privately announced on Monday that users can use its platforms to solicit human smugglers, a decision that goes against demands by anti-human trafficking groups that urged the tech giant to crack down on the practice.
In an internal announcement of Meta’s “human smuggling policy” obtained by the Free Beacon , the company concluded that a crackdown on human smuggling solicitations would hamper the ability for people to use the platform “to seek safety or exercise their human rights.” The company said it will maintain its current policy, which prohibits users from offering human smuggling but allows them to solicit smuggling services.
Meta said it reached its policy decision after five months of deliberation that sought out “global perspectives and a broad range of expertise.” No specific organizations or groups are named, although Meta said they included “NGOs working with migrants” and “former border enforcement officials.” Ultimately, more stakeholders advised the company to allow the solicitations, it said.
“We observed that a slight majority of stakeholders favored allowing solicitations of smuggling services for reasons associated with asylum seekers,” the memo reads. “We decided that this was indeed the best option since the risks could be mitigated by sending resources, whereas the risks of removing such content could not be mitigated.”
In order to “mitigate the risks” from allowing migrants to seek smugglers on its platforms, Meta said it “proposed interventions such as sending resources to users soliciting smuggling services.” It did not elaborate on what those resources may be or whether they would end up effectively discouraging human trafficking. The company said it would allow “sharing information related to illegal border crossing.”
The commitment to the controversial policy […]
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