The woman has alleged that although Facebook’s executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on the platform they remained mute spectators.
A woman in Texas has dragged social networking giant Facebook to court alleging that at the age of 15, she was raped, beaten and trafficked for sex by a pimp who posed as a friend using Facebook; she alleged that although Facebook’s executives knew that minors were being lured into sex trade on the platform, they did nothing.
According to papers filed in Harris County District Court in Houston, the woman has been identified only as Jane Doe. The papers also named as defendants the founders of the now-closed classified ads website Backpage.com.
Facebook did not respond to requests for comment.
Attorneys for Backpage.com and the former employees named in the lawsuit as defendants also did not return calls for comment.
According to papers filed in court, the woman was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know several of her real-life friends. The user was a man who messaged her through Facebook.
According to the lawsuit, following an argument with her mother, the pimp offered to console her and after picking her up from her home he beat, raped and took pictures of her which he posted on Backpage.com.
The lawsuit states, Facebook did not do enough to verify the user’s identity, which the lawsuit said was false; also Jane Doe was never warned by Facebook that sex traffickers were operating on the social media network.
The plaintiff’s attorneys, David Harris and Louie Cook of the law firm Sico Hoelscher Harris LLP in Houston, did not reply to requests for comment.Backpage.com was shut down by authorities earlier this year after a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the website was used primarily to sell sex.