The Net: Human Trafficking and the Internet

August 12, 2017

You remember back in the day when your mom would tell you to not talk to strangers on the internet, and you’d brush her off and call her paranoid? Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but momma bear is right, and she’s not paranoid. You never know just who is on the other side of the computer screen, and in a lot of cases, it can be dangerous, and even fatal.

 

Photo: John Schnobrich on Unsplash 

 

Something that we don’t talk about often is human trafficking. Human trafficking is literally the sale of humans, and usually it’s connected to drug trafficking and prostitution; the three are a lethal combination. In Boston alone this past May the Federal Bureau of Investigation partnered with local authorities to disband a sex trafficking ring between Boston, Quincy, North Reading and Cambridge, and late last year in Africa 247 girls went missing at the hands of Boko Haram. Earlier this year 12 girls went missing from the Bronx and nothing else was heard from them. As of January 31, 2017, the count for cases of human trafficking was at 88. One case is too many. Now am I saying that everyone that you meet on the internet is into human and drug trafficking? No, but what I am saying is that it is imperative that we be careful.

 

Thanks to inventions like Snapchat, Instagram, and the wonderful, FaceTime (Tango for you Android users) you are now a little less likely to get catfished.

 

So, what is the solution to this problem is something simple. Walk in pairs, invest in portable chargers, let your friends know where you’re going to be if you’re out on a date with someone you’ve never been with before. Unfortunately, these are things that we must continue to do to protect ourselves. There is no perfect plan, but just be aware of your surroundings, meet in public sunny areas, and just be careful. If you see something, say something. Always remember, sisterhood over self.

 

Dominique is currently studying Psychology at Bridgewater State University with a double minor in Middle East Studies and Music. In her spare time, she is a poet and artist. She hopes to use her voice as both a journalist and artist to empower the unheard.

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