Software company, Salesforce, has promoted an image of itself as ethical and invested in human rights advancement on a variety of issues, including gender equality, LGBTQ civil rights, services for homeless people, and the use of technology for the greater good.
However, this week, 50 women who were trafficking victims filed a suit in a San Francisco court against Salesforce for selling business tools and providing extensive support for Backpage, a site (which was taken down last year by federal authorities) that was known for being complicit in the vast majority of child trafficking cases in the U.S. The women filing suit are alleging that Salesforce designed a highly custom database to help it market services to traffickers, john, and pimps on three continents, helping Backpage to grow exponentially. Thus, Salesforce is alleged to have also profited off of the sex trafficking of women and children.
A Little Context
What Is Backpage?
Backpage was an ad marketplace that engaged in significant activity around selling sex, including the trafficking of women and children. It was shut down by federal authorities in April 2018, coinciding with the passage of SESTA. (Source: Reuters)
What is SESTA?
SESTA (or Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act) was a Senate bill that, along with its sister bill in the House, FOSTA (or Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act), became law in April 2018. The law makes it illegal to knowingly assist, facilitate, or support sex trafficking.
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