Craigslist.com, like eBay, is the go to place for pack rats, collectors, all things frugal, and…sex traffickers? Actor and producer Ashton Kutcher has called out the virtual marketplace’s founder, Craig Newmark, via Twitter on promoting an illegal business in the black market.
Kutcher tweeted, “Do U have ideas how 2 help Craigslist fight human trafficking? pls send all responses to @craignewmark.”
Kutcher (@aplusk) encouraged his over five million followers to come up with ways that Craigslist.com could do something about trafficking. Kutcher suggested catching traffickers by having them enter their credit card information before they are able to view search results. Kutcher added that Newmark should donate the money made from the illegal business to fund technology that prevents future situations on the website.
Ultimately, Newmark has acknowledged the problem and announced that his tech team will try to stop trafficking on the website without bothering the traffickers who post the listings in the first place. After Kutcher tweeted, “u may not have picked this issue but this issue picked u, now u have to be responsible 4 the actions of those using ur tool,” he invited Newmark to a Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) Trafficking Tech Task Force Meeting. The DNA Foundation, launched in January 2010, is committed to eliminating child sex slavery around the world by raising awareness.
Human trafficking, in its general terms, is an illegal trade of humans for sexual exploitation or forced, bonded, or child labor, most often deemed as the modern-day form of slavery. The U.S. Department of Justice reported that 83 percent of cases were sex trafficking cases. The business of selling and buying humans has resulted in over 27 million slaves around the world today and has made more than $32 billion, which is more than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined. The issue lies in more than prostitutes and “adult services.” Approximately 50 percent of the 27 million are minors under 18 years old, often ending up on internet postings such as Craigslist.