Utilizing Social Media for Pimping Purposes

In the post I wrote on October 29, 2012, regarding the legitimizing of pimping and human trafficking, I pointed out that media outlets and pop culture glamorizes pimping while undermining the reality of brutality and abuse of this industry.  There is a significant connection between the sex and media industries, particularly in how the latter has led to the rise in popularity of the latter.

The FBI released an article in September 2012 which demonstrates this connection.  Gangs are utilizing Social Media sites to identify and recruit potential victims – mainly vulnerable high-school aged girls – for prostitution and human trafficking purposes.

The article outlines how the Crips gang in Virginia would troll social networking sites, looking for attractive young girls whom they would contact.  If the victim expressed interest (and many did), the gang members would make plans to meet with her in person.

It is important to understand how social media is used to identify and attract victims, allowing traffickers to go undetected.  Such secrecy increases the boldness and confidence of pimps as their actions go undetected.  Social media provides a discreet outlet for traffickers to expand rapidly online as well as increasing their pool of ‘product’ to pull from.  The variety of girls and boys to choose from increases a trafficker’s ability to market to a variety of customers because [s]he can quickly and easily find a victim that matches a specific nitch from their customer base.  This adds to the difficulty in prosecuting them later on in court, if they are caught.

For safety tips in which parents can equip their children to safely utilize Social Networking sites, please see the FBI article which I have provided a link to above.  Included in the safety tips are (1) ensuring that privacy settings on all Social Media sites are high as well as limiting the amount of personal information that is shared by teenagers and their friends (2) parents should keep current on “Internet language” as teens sometime employ this as ways to communicate with friends when their parents are nearby, thereby filtering what online content their parents see.

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One thought on “Utilizing Social Media for Pimping Purposes

  1. Thanks for providing that FBI article. I have been looking for resources regarding this specific issue. Human trafficking has been something that is on my heart lately, but I really don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to do with this increasing passion that I have for the issue. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these organizations, but I’ve been looking into Streetlight Tucson, a local organization since Tucson is a hot-spot for sex trafficking, and iEmpathize, which is an international organization that frequently holds events at the University of Arizona dedicated to eradicating human sex trafficking and rehabilitating the victims, as well as helping to equip children in high-risk communities to be safer so that they’re not abducted or coerced into it. I’m glad someone else cares about this.

    This is the survivor gallery from iEmpathize: http://iempathize.org/th_gallery/survivor-galery/

    It’s very encouraging to see these pictures, even though they made me cry because of the implications of all of these young people being “survivors.”

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