How do sex traffickers use emoji symbols on social media apps like Instagram to sell children and find clients?
- The profile page or post descriptions will have specific emoji icons. What are they?
- Why do human traffickers use emojis? To secretly communicate with buyers and potential clients.
- Can you search a specific emoji on Instagram? Yes! How?
- When you login to the app, go to the ‘magnifying glass’ icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Type the emoji that you want to look up (use your cell phone’s keyboard).
- Click the category field labeled “Top “. In this example, we typed in the “growing heart” image.
- Now scroll down the page on your phone until you see the emoji accompanied by a hashtag #. The app will automatically add the hashtag so you do not have to type it in. For instructions on how to do this, refer to the screenshot for a visual reference.
What are 6 ways to find suspected (male and female) pimps and gang members selling minors on Instagram?
- Search by Location:
- When you use the search function in the app, you have four options to pick from: Top, People, Tags, Places. In this case, select “Places”
- Type in local hotels in your area, music festivals, concert tours, car shows, gala events.
- North American International Detroit Auto Show, Artprize in Grand Rapids Michigan, Nascar, Superbowl, Lansing MI, Kentucky Derby, etc.
- Check the Profile Page:
- Do they say anything about “DM for Hookup”?
- Can you spot one of the six emoji symbols mentioned above?
- Check out their Posts:
- Do you see the word “daddy”? (not to be confused with an innocent picture of a person’s father).
- Notice the hashtags for each post. Do you see #daddy #pimp #money #dollars, #rich, etc?
- Does the woman in the photo have one of these clearly defined tattoos?
- Is there a group of girls in the photo and only 1 man?
- What is the girl wearing? Luxury or designer clothes? Or, is she dressed seductively?
- This is not always a guarantee. Unfortunately it can be difficult to distinguish victims of trafficking from those who are not when observing the large quantity of pictures on the app.
- Here’s a few more ideas!
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