Hawley Says Facebook’s Human Trafficking Policy May Be Criminal

Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) says Meta, formerly known as Facebook, may be engaged in criminal conduct following a Washington Free Beacon report on its decision to allow solicitation of human trafficking on its platforms.

In a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg obtained by the Free Beacon, Hawley says the company policy of allowing the solicitation of smuggling services to cross through the southern border may amount to "aiding and abetting illegal border crossings," a federal crime.

Hawley, who served as Missouri's attorney general before he was elected to the U.S. Senate, wants Meta to lay out whether it's taken any steps to ensure "compliance with federal anti-trafficking laws" and detail its plans to provide resources to help users who solicit traffickers on the platform. The company this week told the Free Beacon that provided resources would be solely informational.

Hawley’s letter comes as Meta finds itself on the ropes. On Wednesday a disappointing company earnings report led to the largest-ever one-day drop in the company’s stock price. Lawmakers from both parties have also introduced bills over the last year to more closely regulate the company on issues ranging from transparency to the content it allows users to post.

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