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Social media misinformation fuels human trafficking at the Mexican border

2023-10-25T14:00:28+00:00
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Social media misinformation, border, human trafficking
Social media misinformation to migrants (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Human traffickers post misinformation on social media.
  • Desperate migrants are their victims.
  • Authorities warn migrants.

Thousands of migrants are in danger of falling for misinformation on different social networks.

According to the BBC, hundreds of videos abound on various platforms that provide supposed recommendations for crossing the border.

However, these videos are mainly traps by human traffickers who seek to profit from migrants’ desperation.

The BBC has been reporting on this since July and immigrants are warned to take precautions.

Human traffickers post misinformation on social media

migration, United States, Border, Social media misinformation
PHOTO: Shutterstock

According to Univision, a YouTube channel sharing recommendations for crossing the US border was recently shut down.

However, YouTube is not the only platform with this type of content.

Authorities have warned that the posts do not reveal the truth about the real risks to migrants in these videos.

The content is posted on platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Danger for migrants

Social media misinformation, immigrants, border, illegal crossing, United States
PHOTO Shutterstock

According to Univisión, the videos posted on the YouTube channel that has been shut down were anonymous.

They point out that they did not show the reality of the conditions that migrants face on the southern border of the United States.

They depict the crossing as a short, uncomplicated walk where they are greeted by friendly authorities at the border.

Meanwhile, the reality is much different.

Human traffickers prey on migrants

Migrants, Mexico, border, illegal crossing, United States
PHOTO Shutrerstock

The BBC reports that human traffickers are taking advantage of migrants with these videos.

They point out that hundreds of videos can be found online, promising migrants an easy new start in the US, with no financial problems.

The videos make the traffickers appear innocent and friendly, however, experts warn that they are actually deceptive.

«This is advertised people smuggling,» said Ed Calderon, a former Mexican police officer who specializes in the border’s underworld.

It’s a billion dollar industry

Illegal crossing, Authorities, United States, MundoNOW
PHOTO Shutterstock

According to the BBC, these videos are the public face of a highly sophisticated industry that rakes in billions of dollars.

Traffickers are taking advantage of the confusion that changes in US immigration policies have generated.

This has allowed misinformation to spread and has increased the demand for people who offer help crossing the border.

People are unaware that they were actually being handed over to traffickers who were benefiting from the situation.

Impact of US immigration policies

policies, United States, Mexico,
PHOTO Shuterstock

According to the BBC, U.S. agents said apprehensions have fallen 70% since the end of Title 42.

This is thanks to the fact that more people are entering the country legally.

However, the criminal groups that help migrants cross illegally continue to take advantage of people’s desperation.

«It’s like Christmas for these smugglers right now,» Calderón told the BBC.

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Immigration
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