In the year 2018, there were more than 10,000 Craigslist ads for “human traffickers,” and about 10,200 of them involved human trafficking, according to the company’s data.
And the average age of the ads was 37 years old.
“The typical ad is between 10 and 20 pages long,” says Adrienne Brown, a spokeswoman for Craigslist, which collects data on ads from across the world.
“So that means if you see one that’s like, ‘I need to go to the bank to pay for a car,’ you can easily find an ad that’s a couple of pages long.”
Craigslist is a platform that connects millions of users around the world, but its most powerful tool is its ad-finding algorithm.
“There are billions of ads on Craigslist every day,” Brown says.
“But our data tells us that we only have to know about a couple hundred people for us to know that we’re seeing a lot of these ads.”
Advertisers are interested in finding ads for a variety of reasons, including, “Is it going to work for me?
Will it help me?”
But it’s also important to know who is being advertised.
“If someone’s a trafficker, there’s a risk they’re not going to be able to find someone to rent the car or buy the furniture,” Brown explains.
“In that case, there might be someone out there that wants to be exploited.”
The best way to find a human trafficking ad is to contact Craigslist.
You can find information about ads and find people who might be willing to sell their services to a potential buyer, or you can contact them by phone or email, or send a photo of yourself or the person you are looking for.
“We do not publish specific information about specific victims,” Brown notes.
“As a result, we’re not able to provide specific details about who these victims are or what their needs are.”
“We have people who we can’t reach because they’re out of the country, they’re afraid of being investigated or they have health issues, or they’re on drugs,” Brown adds.
“A lot of times, when we’re looking for ads, we can only find people in the United States.”
A lot of people have told Brown that they have a history of trafficking and are not willing to come forward.
“Our job is to try to help people,” Brown admits.
“And we’re working very hard to help as many people as possible.
So, our hope is that we can be an important resource for those who are in this position.”
In the past, Craigslist has taken steps to address the issue of human trafficking on its platform.
In 2018, Craigslist added a feature to help users find other human trafficking ads.
It allows users to search for and report human trafficking advertisements on Craigslist, and it allows advertisers to identify human trafficking victims.
And last year, the company introduced a new way for advertisers to help victims of human trafficking, offering a service called the Craigslist Referral Program, which helps them connect to other human traffickers.
“It’s kind of like a call center, but instead of having an ad, we have an email address for the person to contact,” Brown said.
“They can send a message to the person, they can ask them questions, and they can help them find the resources they need.”
The goal is to help the person identify and help them obtain help.
“What we hope is this is the way to get people to get help,” Brown concludes.
“Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is give people a chance to get out of this cycle.”
And in 2018, the majority of human traffickers in the US were women, according the FBI.
The agency says more than half of human-trafficking victims are women.