Facebook Admits It Doesn't Ban Info Facilitating Illegal Immigration, Smuggling
Instead, it only bans paid offers for smuggling across the border, leaving other relative information intact. According to the company's representative, it is done to protect people's right to seek asylum.
Facebook's Vice President of state public policy, William Castleberry, has revealed that the social media company does not ban and remove information posted on its platforms related to the illegal entry into countries, like the US, or to seeking help from smugglers.
Responding to a request from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who accused the tech giant of facilitating "human and sex trafficking", Facebook clarified that it only removes messages that offer paid smuggling services. Castleberry said the automated services didn't filter the rest of the content in order not to deprive people of the right to seek asylum. He went as far as to claim that such an approach actually prevents human trafficking.
"After consulting with human rights experts, we developed this policy to ensure we were prohibiting content relating to the business of human smuggling but not interfering with people's ability to exercise their right to seek asylum. Allowing people to seek and share information related to smuggling can also help minimize the likelihood of them being exploited by human traffickers".
This response hardly satisfied Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who recommended Department of Justice and US Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch a probe into Facebook's alleged role in facilitating illegal immigration to the US.
"Facebook's policy of allowing posts promoting human smuggling and illegal entry into the United States to regularly reach its billions of users seriously undermines the rule of law. The company is a direct facilitator, and thus exacerbates, the catastrophe occurring at Arizona's southern border".
The Biden administration has been struggling to deal with spiking levels of arriving migrants throughout 2021, with many experts and politicians calling the situation a border crisis. US law enforcement drastically lacks resources to monitor the border and accommodate the migrants, who are often released even without being tested for or vaccinated against COVID-19.
12 October 2021, 16:44 GMT
Biden himself has claimed that his administration seeks to address the root causes of illegal immigration and instead of patching up borders, it is focusing on humanitarian issues that have been driving migrants from Central America to the US throughout the year.