Reported by Jack Davis | June 26, 2021
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled against Facebook as the social media giant tries to use a controversial federal law to dodge liability for its platform being used by human traffickers to recruit victims. The ruling allows three survivors of human trafficking who want to sue Facebook to move forward with their cases, according to Forbes. Facebook had argued it was not responsible for what its users say under Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act.
Section 230 has become a controversial piece of law, with critics saying it gives social media companies too much power. Forbes reported that in 2018, Congress carved out exceptions to Section 230 so that lawsuits could be brought against companies that violate human trafficking laws. In his opinion, Justice Jimmy Blacklock noted those limits.
“We do not understand section 230 to ‘create a lawless no-man’s-land on the Internet’ in which states are powerless to impose liability on websites that knowingly or intentionally participate in the evil of online human trafficking,” he wrote.
“Holding internet platforms accountable for the words or actions of their users is one thing. … Holding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing. This is particularly the case for human trafficking.”
“Section 230, as amended, does not withdraw from the states the authority to protect their citizens from internet companies whose own actions — as opposed to those of their users — amount to knowing or intentional participation in human trafficking,” the ruling said.
The case involved three women who, according to the ruling, “allege they were victims of sex trafficking who became entangled with their abusers through Facebook.” One was 15 years old when she was befriended by a Facebook user who told her he would help her pursue a modeling career.
“Shortly after meeting him, Plaintiff was photographed and her pictures posted to the website Backpage (which has since been shut down due to its role in human trafficking), advertising her for prostitution. As a result, Plaintiff was ‘raped, beaten, and forced into further sex trafficking,’” the ruling said.
YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THIS REPORT AT https://www.westernjournal.com/facebook-loses-teen-sex-trafficking-case-legal-defeat-puts-social-media-platforms-crosshairs/