Human Trafficking and Social Media with Mark Latonero, Research Director for the Annenberg Center of Communication Leadership and Policy, University of Southern California (GNLA)
October 24, 2012, 6:30pm
On a very windy day in Los Angeles, Mark Latonero shared with Gen Next Los Angeles his findings on the role that new technology plays in the increased exploitation of the victims of human trafficking and how these technological innovations are actually leading to more consistent follow-up and exposure of these trafficking criminals. It is under a grant from the Annenberg Program on Online Communities that Mark is researching the role of social media in this area, and his findings and passion for this sensitive subject are truly fascinating.
Here are the takeaways:
- Human Trafficking is the exploitation of the most vulnerable people who are usually of low income stature or runaways.
- Mark's research in this area has been part of the research used in local, Los Angeles anti-trafficking operations.
- The human traffic abusers are now using social media to promote their victims through Facebook, Craig's list and other types of online sites.
- While promoting their victims in the media is working, it is also exposing these criminals and aiding in the way that we can track and obtain information on their operations for the first time.
- The private sector including Microsoft, Facebook and JP Morgan Chase are now using private photo recognition, drop box tools to help catch these offenders. These website imaging tools are aiding in the protection of company branding while helping to expose and prevent this type of global modern day slavery in the 21st century.