Just recently Facebook has been sued for reasons pertaining to discrimination on the basis of race and sex all covered under Cambridge Analytica scandal. Also, an employee working with this giant platform sued for facing discrimination based on age. And now a Texas-based woman who is a Facebook user sues this social media platform as it does not take any measures to prevent sex-trafficking taking place on the platform. Seems like it is a tough year for Facebook.
A woman from Texas named Jane Doe filed in the Harris County District Court as she had been molested at the tender age of 15 years old. Not only was she raped, but also underwent an ill-treatment and got badly beaten by another Facebook user who posed himself as a recruiter on the platform.
She claimed in the lawsuit that the man and she shared a number of mutual friends and so she came into contact with him and befriended him in 2012. Later he tried to lure her into sex-trafficking by making false promises of stabilizing her financial security. When they both met personally, he tried to force himself, assaulted and raped her. She alleges that Facebook does not have any way to verify the user’s real identity and that she was not aware of sex-traffickers operating the platform as well.
Besides Facebook, Jane has also sued the founder of another website called Backpage.com which is a classified ads website in the lawsuit. According to the Reuters report, the woman narrated how at a point when she had an argument with her mother, the sex-trafficker reached out to help and console her. He came to her house to pick her and then, took her only to hit her and rape her. He then clicked some pictures which he later posted on backpage.com. Although this website has now been shut as prior to this incident, an incident verified that Backpage.com was mainly into selling sex.
Facebook and Backpage’s Response:
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook has apologized in front of the European lawmakers. However, he has not responded any calls from Reuters for comment. Backpage former executives have also not attended any calls for any comment.
There is a severe need that Facebook looks into this matter so that other Facebook users do not get engaged in such atrocities in the future. This matter really came out as an eye-opener and requires some strict actions against such bullying.