Big Tech has made it abundantly clear that it will continue to allow predators to seek children on its platforms and profit from child sexual abuse material at the expense of human freedom and dignity. Twitter has failed to report child sexual abuse material on its site numerous times and even refused to take down abusive content.
One notable example of this was a 13-year-old teen boy who was manipulated into engaging in sex acts on video. It was retweeted more than 2,000 times and when the victim alerted the Big Tech company about the video, they asked him to confirm his identity before arguing that the material itself “didn’t violate any policies.” The teen’s mother eventually contacted the Department of Homeland Security who warned Twitter to take the videos down. But Twitter will suspend accounts over “election misinformation?” Hmm.
Studies have also linked a rise in teen suicide to the desire for social media popularity. Parents have complained that the companies play a role in “child grooming and trafficking” as well as using algorithms for minors to drive social media addiction.
Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers called out Big Tech companies for their continued use to manipulate and harm children while censoring political viewpoints they disagree with. “Remember, our kids — the users — are the product. You — Big Tech — are not advocates for children. You exploit and profit off them. Big Tech needs to be exposed and completely transparent for what you are doing to our children so parents like me can make informed decisions,” she said.
While House Republicans introduced a Big Tech Accountability Platform at the beginning of the year, their attacks on freedom of speech and the truth are only getting worse. They have continued to contribute to suicides and anxiety in teens, as well as citing their ‘vague content policies’ and ‘enforcement tactics’ against which content is posted and which is removed.
Representatives of Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all argued that they don’t want their “protections” stripped that usually shield them from lawsuits over content posted on the platforms. Google even warned that this is a red line “lawmakers shouldn’t cross.” But GOP lawmakers have warned the industry that they aren’t going to just “trust” the platforms to do the right thing and strip any ability to exercise responsibility.
The bill, H.R. 1865 (115) would allow victims to take websites to court if they knowingly enabled sex trafficking through advertisements or posts or facilitated prostitution and child sex trafficking.
Tennessee Sen. Martha Blackburn also introduced the “End Child Trafficking Now Act,” which will also be fighting the surges of child trafficking in unaccompanied children at the southern border. Cartel members have been communicating through social media platforms and disguising youthful drug criminals as unaccompanied children to cross the border. The bill would make DNA tests mandatory for any illegal alien attempting to enter the U.S with a minor. Blackburn adds that this would send a “powerful message” to any traffickers attempting to cross the border with a minor.
Big Tech has been warned for years to “clean up their sites” but with the recent spike in sex trafficking cases, as well as the crisis of human trafficking at the border, they’ve made it abundantly clear that they care more about how they profit than how they protect.