Facebook tells Arizona AG it allows messages on human smuggling

Mark Brnovich is now asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate after social media giant’s revelation.

Updated: October 18, 2021 - 11:18pm

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Social media giant Facebook acknowledged to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich it allows a platform for those seeking advice on human smuggling over international borders.

Brnovich is now asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the matter, saying Facebook’s policy “undermines the rule of law.”

The California-based social media company responded July 30 to an inquiry from Brnovich, saying it uses its most stringent policies to crack down, ban and shield others from users who try to use the platform for illegal purposes that include human smuggling.

However, the letter said that the company allows people to share information on how to “enter a country illegally and or request information” on human smuggling.

“After consultation 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, which is recognized in international law,” the statement said. “Allowing people to seek and share information related to smuggling can also help minimize the likelihood of them being exploited by human traffickers.”

In an Oct. 14 letter to Garland, Brnovich said the federal government is responsible for investigating this admission.

“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,” Brnovich wrote.

In August, 17,000 people illegally crossed into the Yuma sector of Arizona from Mexico; 2,300% more than the same month in 2020.