Arizona calls on social media companies to crack down on cartel activity

(The Center Square) – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is calling on social media companies to protect youth from cartels recruiting them into transnational human smuggling activity.

In a letter to the leaders of four social media companies, Ducey urged the companies to start doing a better job of stopping people from being exploited by cartels.

“Cartels [are] preying on those seeking refuge for a better life, and facilitating the flow of drugs into American communities,” the governor said. “And ⁠– these criminals are using your companies’ social media platforms to make it happen.”

Criminal organizations and cartels use social media to help smuggle drugs, weapons, people, and more over the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a press release from Ducey’s office.

Arizona law enforcement has found posts that mislead American citizens, “who are often young, glamorizing a lifestyle made possible by human smuggling pay days,” according to Ducey’s office.

Ducey’s office cited a story in the Sierra Vista Herald earlier this month where Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels described social media posts offering drivers $2,000 per person to take over the border illegally and ways they could evade law enforcement. Daniels’ office partnered with Border Patrol, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and local law enforcement to combat drivers bringing people over the border. However, they have seen cartels offering to pay more money and “entice drivers to take their chances with law enforcement,” according to the report.

In the letter to social media companies, Ducey also mentioned steps that these social media companies can take to combat illegal activity on their platforms.

“Your companies have established reporting mechanisms for criminal behavior, but we need stronger action to prevent this activity that is drawing our young people into a life of crime,” Ducey wrote. “Inaction only enables cartels to victimize countless youth and families. This crisis presents a real opportunity for you and your companies to take action and make a difference.”

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