Zuckerberg U-Turns on Facebook People Smuggling Posts Following Scrutiny

by ALLUM BOKHARI 14 Dec 2022

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is ending a policy that allowed illegal immigrants to use the platform to seek people smugglers to ferry them across the U.S. border, admitting that much of the activity is tantamount to “human exploitation” and “overlaps” with human trafficking.

Breitbart News reported on Facebook ads for people smuggling in 2017, with gangs using the platform to advertise a variety of services to transport people to Europe and the United States. As Breitbart News reported in 2021, the Gulf Cartel in Mexico currently profits more from human smuggling than it does from drugs.

ROMA, TEXAS – AUGUST 14: A smuggler guides a group of immigrants across the Rio Grande to cross the border from Mexico on August 14, 2021 in Roma, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

In 2022, the Free Beacon obtained an internal memo from Facebook stating that clamping down on human smuggling activity on the platform would cause problems for people using the platform “to seek safety or exercise their human rights.”

It appears that Facebook has reconsidered. In a new policy memo on “human exploitation,” the platform admits that people smuggling “can be related and exhibit overlap” with human trafficking.

Via Facebook:

Human trafficking is multi-faceted and global; it can affect anyone regardless of age, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, gender or location. It takes many forms, and any given trafficking situation can involve various stages of development. By the coercive nature of this abuse, victims cannot consent.

While we need to be careful not to conflate human trafficking and smuggling, they can be related and exhibit overlap. The United Nations defines human smuggling as the procurement or facilitation of illegal entry into a state across international borders.

Without necessity for coercion or force, it may still result in the exploitation of vulnerable individuals who are trying to leave their country of origin, often in pursuit of a better life. Human smuggling is a crime against a state, relying on movement, and human trafficking is a crime against a person, relying on exploitation.

It comes shortly after Instagram updated its policies to provide users with more transparency around the secret suppression of posts, known as “shadowbanning.” As of last week, users on the image-sharing platform have a tool that will tell them if the discoverability of their content is being limited just to friends and followers.

Both suggest that Facebook is quietly stepping away from the priorities of the progressive left, dialing back support for illegal immigration on the one hand and secret censorship on the other.

The changes come as Elon Musk’s Twitter moves rapidly in a similar direction, releasing swathes of internal communications about the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story and the ban of Donald Trump, and most recently dissolving the platform’s “Trust and Safety” council, an external advisory body made up of leftists nonprofit, academic, and activist organizations.

Zuckerberg U-Turns on Facebook People Smuggling Posts Following Scrutiny (breitbart.com)