DayToday: Texas Supreme Court rules Facebook can be held liable & sued for Sex Trafficking
World News & Politics
Monday; June 28th, 2021 - How’s it going, everybody! Below are some of the most interesting events that happened throughout the course of the last few days. In total, we’re looking at five events that took place in DayToday. It’s been an absolutely crazy weekend, that’s for sure.
The Texas Supreme Court has ruled in a 6 - 0 vote that Facebook can now be held responsible & lawfully sued for Sex Trafficking
Although Facebook cannot be sued for anything their users say on their platform due to the protections of Section 230 under the Communications Decency Act, they can now be sued for their contribution to sex trafficking recruitment. According to a ruling made by the Texas Supreme Court last Friday, which can possibly open the doors to a broader review of Section 230 entirely by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case that Facebook decides to make an appeal.
The ruling will be allowing lawsuits to proceed that was filed by three victims of sex trafficking against Facebook for allegedly failing to stop child predators from using its messager in an effort to recruit them. Facebook, using the power of Section 230, has argued that they are not responsible for how users communicate with their service. The Texas Supreme Court then ruled Facebook’s argument did not apply, as Congress passed exceptions in 2018 that permit civil lawsuits against media platforms for violations of State and Federal human trafficking laws. A spokesperson told Forbes that they are “reviewing” the ruling and “considering all potential next steps.”
“Holding internet platforms accountable for the words or actions of their users is one thing, and the Federal precedent uniformly dictates that Section 230 does not allow it. Holding internet platforms accountable for their own misdeeds is quite another thing…”
- Jimmy Blacklock; Texas Supreme Court Justice
Facebook can appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that would give the court the chance to issue a ruling that goes further than the child trafficking exceptions to Section 230, potentially damaging a key protectant for the tech industry. The Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, has already made statements arguing his belief that Section 230 is broadly interpreted to be in favor of the tech industry.
According to a Federal report titled the 2020 Federal Human Trafficking Report, 59% of victims currently with active cases, that were recruited through social media, were recruited specifically through Facebook. However, just about 41% of all recruitment occurred online. The report, a publication of the Human Trafficking Institute, draws its data from currently active Federal criminal and civil human trafficking cases. In 2020, there were active prosecutions and 200 civil suits. In criminal cases, there were 1,499 victims and 1,007 defendants. Of those, 94% of the criminal prosecutions were for sex trafficking while just 6% of them were for forced labor. Over 98% of criminal cases involved female victims, 91% of all victims being from the United States. According to the report, a majority of the victims were burdened with pre-existing disabilities, substance dependency, or had previously run away from home.
“Sex trafficking and child exploitation are abhorrent, and we don’t allow them on Facebook… We have policies and technology to prevent these types of abuses and take down any content that violates our rules. We also work with safety groups, anti-trafficking organizations, and other technology companies to address this, and we report all apparent instances of child sexual exploitation to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”
- Jeanne Moran; Facebook Spokesperson
Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in Federal Prison for the death of George Floyd
After being convicted of 2nd Degree unintentional murder, 3rd Degree murder, and 2nd Degree manslaughter last April, Derek Chauvin has received a sentence of 22 and a half years for the death of George Floyd. He was sentenced only on the first of the charges, that being the most serious, which is typical in Minnesota. Hennepin County Judge, Peter Cahill, detailed his reasoning in a 22-page legal memorandum. Cahill said Chauvin's crime included four aggravating factors: Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority as a police officer, he treated Floyd with "particular cruelty," he committed the crime as part of a group with at least three other people, and children were present during the commission of the offense.
"Mr. Chauvin, rather than pursuing the MPD mission, treated Mr. Floyd without respect and denied him the dignity owed to all human beings and which he certainly would have extended to a friend or neighbor. In the Court's view, 270 months, which amounts to an additional ten years over the presumptive 150-month sentence, is the appropriate sentence."
- Peter Cahill; Hennepin County Judge
Massive Anti-Government Protests have sparked in London with more planned for this Weekend; U.K. Chief Health Minister Resigns
Tens of thousands of Anti-Government and Anti-Lockdown protesters marched through central London’s Hyde Park on Saturday. Thousands of protestors marched through Oxford and gathered in front of the Prime Minister’s residence & parliament, pelting it with Tennis balls and flares.
On June 21st, England was supposed to lift the lockdown restrictions. However, due to the recent rise of the Covid-19 Delta variant, which was first identified in India, they have now pushed back that date by a minimum of four weeks. This sparked outrage as people are wanting to get back to work and resume life as normal.
"The main reason I'm here is because I feel this lockdown has come at the cost of our liberty and rights… Our freedom to assemble, our freedom to travel, and work. I'm really quite angry with the government, so are everyone else here.“
- Iain McCausland ; Protestor from England’s Southwest Coast
The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, a collective of anti-government groups, came out to oppose the U.K. government and its handling of the pandemic. They were calling for change within society following the pandemic, which has already seen the existing inequality become worsened. Additionally, Extinction Rebellion will host its own demonstration on Sunday. Already, the police have made arrests in connection, which is centered around their opposition to media coverage surrounding the climate crisis. Twelve people have been arrested following a raid in a warehouse that housed some of the items the groups used to blockade some newspaper’s printing presses. According to local media, they seized items “which could be used to cause criminal damage and obstructions”.
Following the recent protest, Britain’s Chief Health Minister, Matt Hancock, has resigned after he was caught kissing and embracing an aide, who he had appointed to a taxpayer-funded role, in his office - which was a pure violation of his own guidelines. This caused a massive backlash, making protestors demand the arrest of Hancock.
"We owe it to people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic, and to be honest, when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance…”
Matt Hancock; Former U.K. Chief Health Minister
John Donahoe, the CEO of Nike, says that Nike is a ‘Brand of China that is of China and for China’ in their recent Earnings Call
During an Earnings Call this week, John Donahoe explained that Nike had a long-term view of its operations in China, where it had been operating for close to four decades. He went on to explain that the company intended to keep investing in its Chinese operations, as it recently reported better than expected revenues in its fiscal fourth quarter. Its sales in China missed Wall Street expectations and shares of Nike hit an all-time high during Friday's trading session, driven by its strong financial results.
“We are the largest sport brand there, and we are a brand of China and for China… The biggest asset we have in China is the consumer equity. Consumers feel a strong, deep connection to the Nike, Jordan and Converse brands in China, and it’s real…”
- John Donahoe; CEO of Nike
The Make-A-Wish Foundation will no longer grant wishes to kids who have not been vaccinated
Richard Davis, the CEO and President of The Make-A-Wish Foundation, has announced that on September 15th, the foundation will resume granting wishes involving large gatherings and air travel within the United States and Federal territories. However, according to Davis, critically ill children and their families will need to be two weeks past completion of either a single-dose or a double-dose vaccine. While Make-A-Wish will not require proof of vaccination, parents will be required to sign a form confirming that they and their children are being compliant with the new policy.
The decision, according to Richard Davis, was made in consultation with doctors and medical professionals throughout the National Medical Advisory Council and after monitoring public health organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The American Academy of Pediatrics. Despite the new policy, none of the available COVID-19 vaccines are approved for children under the age of 12. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is currently approved for use in individuals 12 years and older, while the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are approved for individuals 18 years and older.
“We understand that there are many families whose children aren't eligible for the vaccine yet, and we also know that there are families who aren’t choosing to get the vaccine. We respect everyone’s freedom of choice, and we will continue to grant wishes for all eligible children, including children who have not been vaccinated. Any child fighting a critical illness is eligible for Make-A-Wish. While it does not reflect the majority of children we serve, we do occasionally serve children whose medical provider has determined that the child will not survive their illness. In time-sensitive situations involving an end-of-life diagnosis, a process is available to allow air travel or wishes involving large gatherings regardless of vaccination status.”
- Spokesperson; Make-A-Wish Foundation
That is all for today! I hope you enjoyed this segment of DayToday, please be sure to stick around for more coming this afternoon and tomorrow!
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