WNN - Women News Network, as an award winning not-for-profit news network focusing exclusively on global women that is reaching the public and over 500 UN agencies and NGO affiliates (along with 40+ organizations working to stop human trafficking), is well aware of the global problems in the sex-trafficking of women and girls.
Because of our work to bring greater ethics and transparency to the news media we call today on Google Inc to join the movement and to answer an urgent message sent to Google by the 'Concerned Citizens of the World' to: "STOP all internet profits and facilitating of sexual exploitation of women and girls on the internet through the sales of online advertisements made by those who profit from this heinous crime."
Current public searches in Google have produced AdWords ads that may have strong connections to sex tourism, underage web cams and other underage sex industry offerings. Because this is a threat to the integrity of Google we ask that deep investigations are conducted immediately through a revised action plan for Google Inc.
Sites linked to these questionable advertisements show the ‘tell-tale’ signs of global human trafficking activities and are not mere ‘adult services’ sites which are currently permitted by Google AdWords policies. By allowing these ads to “slip through the cracks,” in the words of a Google spokesperson, you are turning a blind eye to a pernicious problem that Google does have the power to stop.
Google, Inc is now in a unique position to choke the supply chain that delivers women and girls for sale through online sex trafficking. Google must resolve this issue in a sustainable way and to stop all corporate profits from any sale of women and girls through sexual exploitation from what has been called by a Google insider as "improperly filtered" advertisers.
HERE'S THE PROBLEM:
Online trafficking of women and children is continuing to happen through the deceptive use of Google AdWords. The Concerned Citizens of the World are asking Google to simply stop selling advertisements to Human Traffickers!
HERE'S THE ISSUE:
Today's online ads show the exploitation of children and adults for sex and labor to be a frequent and ever-growing problem in our society. These ads are pervasive and easy to see by the public. All someone has to do is type in a search term like "pretty ladies" using Google Search. Then sponsored links will appear on the right column showing advertisements purchased from Google Adwords. Try this search now using Google Search with the term: "Russia Women" or other geo-located terms for women to see these advertisements.
Forbes Magazine staff writer Daniel Fisher wrote in his article, "Backpage Takes Heat, But Prostitution Ads Are Everywhere," outlined the insider techniques of 'work-around' that illegal advertisers can use today to show up on Google. We believe these 'work-arounds' can be stopped by Google Inc through tighter filters and management of employees who place Google Ads online.
It is understood that this is a complex problem for Google, but turning a blind eye to this pernicious problem must not be tolerated!
As the most prominent player in online search around the world, with power and scale far more significant than any search engine in existence today, Google is in a unique position to act responsibly to be a leader in the fight against human trafficking, not an 'unintentional' facilitator.
WHY THIS IS GOOGLE’S PROBLEM:
Google Inc has had to face the legal problems of deceptive ads appearing in their search engine previously.
On September 21, 2010, Michael Zwibelman, Litigation Counsel for Google, announced litigation against what was described as pharmacies which “despite our best efforts” were able to place ads in violation of Google AdWords policies. “Litigation of this kind should act as a serious deterrent to anyone thinking about circumventing our policies to advertise illegally on Google,” said Zwibelman. (1)
What Zwibelman didn’t mention at the time though was that Google was under criminal investigation for aiding and abetting in the sale of illegal online pharmaceuticals. On August 24, 2011 the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Google agreed to forfeit $500 million for allowing online pharmacies to place advertisements through its AdWords program. The United States attorney for Rhode Island, Peter F. Neronha, whose office was responsible for the investigation, said Google’s conduct was not the result of a few rogue employees. Mr. Neronha said the company’s chief executive, Larry Page, “knew what was going on.” Yet, according to Zwibelman, Google used “its best efforts” to keep these rogue pharmacies from placing ads.
For the sake of transparency we must ask these questions: Have Google AdWords employees been involved in assisting sites that are involved in global trans-national illegal activities? If so, does this include sex-trafficking activities? Can Google Adwords employees and managers now be charged with global online crime as agents involved in "criminal complicity" by placing ads involved with illegal activities online? (2)
While Craigslist and backpage.com have been targeted for their adult advertisements along with action by (U.S.) New York City Council legislators, Google has appeared to be relatively unscathed even though, by providing the largest global search engine in the world, it may also be the largest (unintentional) facilitator of human trafficking.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
By signing this Petition you can be part of an important global movement to help save a girl and/or woman from a terrible fate. You will be joining the Concerned Citizens of the World in calling on the leadership of Google Inc to do more than just state their company filter policy - but to put in place sustainable actions to stop human trafficking. By signing this petition you will be calling on Google to enact a specific ACTION plan that will filter all ads correctly and completely.
THE ONLINE EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN AND GIRLS MUST BE STOPPED NOW!
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION to help all those who are trapped in illegal local and global sex industries and sold through the improperly filtered use of Google advertisements.
The Concerned Citizens of the World ask that you -
Work immediately to block and stop the online appearance of Google ads that follow the supply chain to human traffickers of girls and women by implementing a “Zero Tolerance Policy” on your AdWords office now.
Just as Google did the right thing by stopping illegal pharmaceutical advertising, Google has a legal and moral responsibility not to financially benefit from any site that is involved in the forced, illegal exploitation of women and girls.
WE, which make up 40+ organizations fighting the trafficking of women and girls, plus the Concerned Citizens of the World (as reported to WNN - Women News Network who conveys this letter without bias as a message to Google by Concerned Citizens only), DEMAND that Google announces A NEW PUBLIC SAFETY POLICY for Google AdWords - to find, remove, and stop selling all AdWords advertisements that physically or sexually exploit victims of human trafficking. We ask now that deeper investigation of your customers – along with Google employees’ assistance – will be strongly enforced in your existing public policy guidelines. Simply excluding ads that point transparently to underage prostitution, or escort services or intimate services DOES NOT WORK! We feel proper investigating of the supply chain behind numerous Google Adwords customers who continue to violate your own policy can provide a pathway to protection of girls and women who are being forced to comply to sexual exploitation.
As outlined in the La Jolla Human Trafficking Accords of 2011:
“Modern day slavery exists today in the form of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in greater numbers than at any time in our history.”
• All peoples, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, nationality, or social group, have the right to live freely without fear of exploitation.
• Due to the increased demand for minor victims of labor and sexual exploitation, all children are entitled to society’s increased protection.
• Due to the fact that human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in our world today, this issue needs urgent attention and full collaboration among all service providers, law enforcement agencies, media outlets, community leaders, governmental agencies, and citizens.
Organizations affiliated with this petition who are fighting against human trafficking, along with the Citizens of the World, are users of Google’s vast array of wonderful services, but the selling of humans against their will is simply abominable and must be stopped.
Organizations affiliated with this petition who are fighting against human trafficking, along with the Citizens of the World, hereby request that Google, Inc immediately convene a Board meeting to discuss this issue.
The demands are simple, the resolve is clear; it’s Google's responsibility to do the following:
PUBLICLY state that Google is cognizant of the growing problem of human trafficking via the internet.
AGREE to immediately set in place a “ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY” and put in place management that will follow and implement this directive to assist Google with assuring the success of Google's efforts.
ENHANCE Google's efforts by working with local, regional and global law enforcement to help reduced the number of persons who are victims of trafficking online yearly.
This urgent message has been conveyed by the following co-signatories: