A Nicholas Kristof column in the 9/7/17 issue of nytimes.com attacks Google's alignment with Backpage.com against the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act.
For a company whose motto is, "Don't be evil," it doesn't make sense that Google would take sides with Backpage.com to fight legislation targeting online sex trafficking of children.
Kristoff says, "Why? Why would Google ally itself with Backpage, which is involved in 73 percent of cases of suspected child sex trafficking in the U.S., which advertised a 13-year-old whose pimp had tattooed his name on her eyelids?
The answer has to do with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects internet companies like Google (and The New York Times) from lawsuits — and also protects Backpage. Google seems to have a vague, poorly grounded fear that closing the loophole would open the way to frivolous lawsuits and investigations and lead to a slippery slope that will damage its interests and the freedom of the internet."
Other tech companies, like Oracle.com have endorsed the bill which is written in such a way as to very narrowly target "only those intentionally engaged in trafficking children."
Kristoff goes on to say, "Even if Google were right that ending the immunity for Backpage might lead to an occasional frivolous lawsuit, life requires some balancing. For example, websites must try to remove copyrighted material if it’s posted on their sites. That’s a constraint on internet freedom that makes sense, and it hasn’t proved a slippery slope. If we’re willing to protect copyrights, shouldn’t we do as much to protect children sold for sex?"
I agree with Mr. Kristoff on this one. Shame on Google.
Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/
WHAT'S ON THE CALENDAR
Hope4Justice has changed to quarterly public meetings plus event involvement. Here's what's going on in Whatcom County in the next few months:
Just added: Wednesday, October 11, 2017: Men of Dignity meeting. Details in column below.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017: QuarterlyHope4Justice public meeting from 7-9 pm at Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA. (Note the extended time.) We'll be showing "I Am Jane Doe," a documentary about selling minors for sex on Backpage.com
Saturday, October 21, 2017: Rebound's 2nd Annual Hoptoberfest - from 5 - 10 pm at Bellingham's Sportsplex, benefiting Rebound of Whatcom County & Whatcom Sports & Rec.
Friday, November 3, 2017, 7-9 pm: Engedi Refuge Ministries, in collaboration with Hope4Justice, Light of the World Prayer Center, and CTK Downtown invites you to Stand Against Slavery. Location: Norway Hall, 1419 N Forest St., Bellingham, WA.
Saturday, December 2, 2017: Comfort & Joy Celebration to benefit Rebound of Whatcom County. Details to come.
Note: Watch for additional events that may added
You're invited to attend the "Men of Dignity" meeting on 10/11/17 at 7 pm, hosted by Engedi Refuge Ministries. It will include:
- Sex trafficking victim care - men's role
- The national and local scope of sex trafficking and what's being done about it.
- The need for christian men to take responsibility and respond
- Practical next steps
Location: Engedi Learning Center Conference Room, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA.
Hope4Justice holds quarterly public meetings from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of the chosen month at the Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264. The specific date and information about meeting content will be included in this weekly email as far in advance as possible.
Directions to Engedi Counseling Center: From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the second building on the left