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Fifty women are suing Salesforce and accusing the company of helping the Backpage website smuggle women who were then sold as sex slaves by women traffickers. The women, known only as Jane Does, claim to be victims of sex trafficking, rape and abuse and that this was possible through Backpage.

Backpage is a website that was launched in 2004 and taken offline in the course of 2018. Among other things, the site offered sexual services and was accused of facilitating prostitution and human trafficking. According to the women suing Salesforce, the company helped maintain Backpage’s networks and thereby contributed to human trafficking.

Combating trafficking in human beings

In the indictment we read that Salesforce states in the public that it fights human trafficking with its datatools. But behind closed doors, Salesforce’s data tools enabled Backpage to grow exponentially. Not only would Salesforce have provided a user-friendly version of its data and marketing tools, it would also have built a customized business database specifically for Backpage. Thanks to Salesforce, Backpage was able to use Salesforce’s tools to attract new users – read: pimps and smugglers – on three continents.

A Salesforce spokesman informs CNBC that the company is not responding to the upcoming case. But the spokesman did say that the company is very committed to the ethical and human use of our products. In addition, the spokesman states that the company takes this allegation seriously. The question is still how the judge will look at it, but that will have to become clear in the near future.

The evidence against Salesforce is overwhelming and the damage it has caused to the victims and our communities is huge, says Chief Prosecutor Annie McAdams in a statement. It is not enough to say that combating human trafficking is important. Internal policies must also reflect this commitment.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.