By XANDY GREEN
It all starts with a simple Facebook friend request. The leading tactic of how pimps rein in new women is through social media.
A certain case took place in 2011 here in Atlanta. Fox 5 reported a 22-year-old woman named “Nina” was sent a friend request on Facebook from a man she had never met. As most girls do, she clicked through his profile only then to hit accept because “why not, he’s cute.”
This ploy by the alleged pimp, “J-Dirt,” worked like a charm for him every time. He would send out mass friend requests after finding women who “looked the part.” Most of the time, he would go through the friend lists of women he already had in his stable.
After Nina accepted, he sent a message to her stating she was pretty, and if she wanted to make some money, she should hit him up.
Police found this message sent as a mass to more than 800 women. If a woman was interested, the two would meet up. From that point, everything turned upside down. Pimps are basically con-men who can sell these girls the biggest dream in the world. He makes them believe he really loves them, and they will live out this fairy-tale together. This illusion ends all too fast, however, once the pimp has control over them.
Nina never ran because she had nothing or no one to run to. She was smitten with desperation.
Nina was one of the lucky survivors of sex-trafficking after J-Dirt was busted. However, still to this day, she will receive friend requests on Facebook with men who have a “P” beside their name, trying to drag her back in the sex-trade. The “P” stands for pimp.
This is nothing new for pimps recruiting on social media, but now, more people are becoming educated and therefore more cautious. Women have been recruited off of MySpace, DateHookup, Twitter, Kik and now Instagram is becoming more popular as well. Pimps use Craigslist for advertising their women.
According to the Junior League of Atlanta, up to 115 underage girls are advertised to Johns on Craigslist each month in Georgia. “Adult services” on Craigslist has been removed and now is replaced with “casual encounters.” In plain sight, you can find soliciting done by pimps selling young girls for sex.
Pimps also hide behind fake identities on social media. They might even message and recruit through one of his women’s accounts.
According to Urban Institute, 80 percent of teens use social media of some sort. Teenagers often use social media as a diary, documenting every detail of their personal lives. This is exactly what pimps are looking for when they prey on young adolescent girls.
Pimps earn the trust of these victims, convince them to runaway together and turn them against their normal life.
These pimps are the ultimate businessmen in a huge profitable business. They are taking advantage of the tools evolving in society such as social media and Craigslist. Facebook, however, is taking the right precautions to end the recruiting process for pimps.
They reported to CNNMoney in a written statement, “We have zero tolerance for this material and are extremely aggressive in preventing and removing exploitative content. We’ve built complex technical systems that either block the creation of this content or flag it for review by our team of investigations professionals.”
It can’t only be one outlet trying to put an end to this horror. There needs to be a universal understanding that this is happening and what policies can be put in order to end it.