Mercat (mercat) wrote in ontd_political,
Mercat
mercat
ontd_political

Metafilter users save two Russian girls from sex trafficking

Way to go, internet. A Metafilter user was concerned that his friends, two Russian immigrants promised work as lounge hostesses, were potentially walking into a dangerous situation. Other commenters saw the signs of a human trafficking operation and intervened.

The Metafilter thread grew increasingly intense as the commenters cracked the case in real time, beginning with the suspicion that the girls' offer to be lounge hostesses in New York City wasn't quite that and ending, after a flurry of phone calls and online sleuthing, with a Metafilter commenter in New York intercepting the girls at the train station.

It's hard to say if they were, in fact, in for as dire of a situation as many of the commenters worried they were—though it's certainly a possibility—but it is clear that the girls were being lured into the work under false pretenses. The individual encouraging them to travel to New York, it turns out, was in no way affiliated with the agency sponsoring the girls' trip to America. This text message, supposedly sent by one of the two girls, speaks volumes:

D! Listen. I don't know how thanks you. Lux lounge is a strip bar, if we will go there, i don't know what would be... Thank you so much.! You saved our lifes. 3:33PM

This is one of those rare but powerful reminders of the internet's incredible capacity for doing good. You can read the full episode unravel in the Metafilter thread or read a recap at Gawker (potentially NSFW advertisement for the "lounge" in question).

Source and original Metafilter thread; Gawker article with a more detailed write-up, however does contain semi-NSFW image.

I know the source is Gizmodo but it's pretty much the best/only summary I could find of the situation, bar reading the original thread. But it's a fascinating read and I think good testament to the powers of the internet. =)
Tags: human trafficking, internet/net neutrality/piracy, oh shit the internet is here
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