back to article Salesforce to face court over claims it knowingly assisted sex trafficking website

Salesforce is set to face allegations in court that it knew its software was being used by a sex trafficking organization, following an appeal ruling. In May last year, a trial court had barred [PDF] the claim that the SaaS provider benefited from's venture that it knew, or should have known, was engaged in …

  1. t245t
    IT Angle

    Organization was making money from sex traffickers

    Organization was making money from sex traffickers. That would be the credit card companies.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More evidence required

    Salesforce helped Backpage ... , manage relationships with existing customers, market itself to new customers

    IMO, this is the only part that could have any bearing, and it would have to happen in such a way that Salesforce knowingly offered help specifically tailored to marketing illegal activities.

    Here - salesforce dot com / products / service is a page of tech services the Saleforces offers to help web businesses, but they all look pretty generic. Of course customers often need help to interface with the tech, but that doesn't imply that Salesforce needs to know anything about the web business content in order to offer such assistance.

    So I think the onus is on the plaintiffs to show more evidence - I presume they can request Salesforce records.

    As far as I can see, it is not a case where Salesforce used an algorithm to place child prostitution high on someones social media feeds, for example.

    1. david 12 Silver badge

      Re: More evidence required

      The allegation is that Salesforce knowingly was involved in the sex industry (a fairly easy allegation to prove/disprove)

      The sex industry is known to include an element of sex trafficking.

      That was enough to kill Backpage, so it may be enough to convict Salesforce.

      My sympathy was with Backpage. I think that forcing the sex industry into the back streets and blackmarket increases sex trafficking. I'm aware that is not always the case, that the Salvation Army has a policy of opposing "Safe Injecting Rooms" and "Legal Prostitution" because they have a history of closing down systemic exploitation, where providers and users were bought and sold like cattle, but on balance I think "Think of the Children" weighs the other way.

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    Trafficing has a very specific meaning

    There's a case currently wending its way through the courts in the Los Angeles area where a lady is being accused of trafficking and is mounting a vigorous defense. She admits to being a 'madam', running massage parlors that include sex for money on a freelance basis but strenuously denies human trafficking. One of her contentions is that the US grants 'T' visas to persons who cooperate in the prosecution of human trafficking, the visas being granted to both 'victims' and their families. This gives people an incentive to make up allegations of trafficking (which might be known in the UK as "a pecuniary interest" which we'd just call "a bribe").

    It seems that in Governmnetland that anyone involved in the sex trade is either an exploiter or an unwilling slave. This fits in with the rather out of touch moral compass that characterizes a lot of American thought (a peculiar mixture of permissive and Puritan) but it has no relation to real life. This is now especially the case since we now use 'child prostitution' to characterize anyone under 21 (or is it 25?), especially if they're unmarried females.

    Just for the record, I'm not now and never have been a consumer of sex services. My interest in the subject is that I have a lifelong dislike of hypocrisy.

  4. ludicrous_buffoon

    Hi I'm Mitch from SalesForce

    Did you know that 99% of indentured sex work facilitators recommend us for easier liaison? Call today to hear how our software can help you manage those long client lists, while also analysing behaviours to ensure you never forget a lead.

  5. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Can't have it both ways!

    January 11, 2021...Trump leaving office..."Salesforce has “taken action” to stop the Republication National Committee (RNC) from sending emails that could incite violence, though the company won’t say what that action is. "

    In the situation reported here, they ignored / permitted / didn't care about SFDC being used for sex trafficking.

    Sending emails that "could" incite violence, oooh yeah that is bad. We need to shut them down immediately and without due process!! Procuring or trading in human beings for the purpose of prostitution or other sex work....meh, that's okay.

    SFDC does not get to pick & choose which customer's business practices they object to. Either they consistently take the high-road everywhere, or they don't do it at all.

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