Technology to Combat Online Sex Trafficking
Seattle Against Slavery has developed an integrated set of technologies to disrupt the purchase and sale of trafficked sex online. We call this platform Freedom Signal. Freedom Signal consists of six pillars:
- Online search result ads in response to sex buyer searches to stop buyers before they engage
- Social media ads targeting likely sex buyers online for deterrence messaging
- Chatbots that simulate a trafficking victim via text message to deter, delay, and gather data on sex buyers
- Victim outreach via text message to ads where sex is sold online
- Deterrence websites that illustrate the harms and consequences of buying trafficked sex
- Data analysis to increase the accuracy and effectiveness of buyer disruption
By utilizing online search platforms such as Google and Bing in addition to Facebook & Instagram for social media ads, we effectively engage with potential buyers and likely sex buyers through partnerships with these businesses. Using businesses such as these that already have heavy market saturation, our campaigns provide ways to educate and promote the deterrence model in measurable engagements with private sector businesses.
The chatbot gathers data on buyers, both individual evidence for law enforcement and for data analysis on information such as location, age, employer, and intent. Interacting with a chatbot delays and confuses buyers, decreasing the confidence necessary for buyers to follow through on their exploitation or violate the law. The platform also allows for the reporting of crimes directly to law enforcement, with features in development to flag and alerts law enforcement in cases of sex offenders, violent felons, or parolees attempting to buy sex.