Danger Warning! Social Media Sex Trafficking Recruitment is on the Rise since COVID 19 Pandemic

Marina Anderson - Regional Human Traffcking Coordinator, Northeast and Northwest Regions, Florida Department of Children and Families | Robin Hassler Thompson, JD MA - Executive Director, Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center

February 19, 2021

Training Description

Since the onset of the pandemic especially, social media is increasingly being exploited to contact, recruit, and sell children and youth for sex. Some traffickers use online ads to target victims, or they will send friend/follow requests to young people in their region, proceed to strike up a conversation, and develop online friendships. These conversations may start off friendly and innocent, but then the traffickers will begin to use manipulation to charm their potential victims. The online friendship quickly evolves to a romantic relationship, and this is where the sextortion techniques are used to lure their victims into human trafficking. During this session, attendees will learn to recognize signs of social media recruitment, and how traffickers lure their victims on the internet. Attendees will learn about the dangers of popular social media dating sites and apps. This session will also discuss popular emojis and their hidden meaning used to communicate sexual gesture when texting or communicating on internet sites and social media apps.