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Question #90782 posted on 12/30/2017 9:32 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Does traffickcam.com actually help fight human trafficking? And is it safe to use?


Dear friend,

To answer the question about whether it's safe to use, it sounds like it is. It's run by the Exchange Initiative, an organization for stopping sex trafficking, and a team of researchers at Washington University. It's also been funded by donors from the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the St. Louis Community Foundation. With all of those well-established sources, it's probably a legitimate resource.

As for whether it actually helps, it looks like it could help the police locate victims. People who use the site have to upload a picture of their hotel room from four different angles, which could help law enforcement narrow down where a victim is. The site uses image analysis to match hotel room details to pictures of the victim, so it seems like a pretty thorough analysis. It can't hurt to upload pictures of hotel rooms there and may even allow law enforcement to track and prosecute sex traffickers a little faster.

-Van Goff