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Technological civilization is awesome (Cont’d): Internet Community Vs. Human Trafficking

MetaFilter Saved My Pals From Sex Traffickers??Exclusive Interview | Mother Jones. motherjones.com (2010-05-22):

How an online community mobilized to rescue two young Russian women.

Forget the irritating title and summary. Besides being needlessly sensationalistic, the rhetoric of “saving” or rescuing women from sex trafficking is infantilizing and intensely unhelpful; also, it’s just inaccurate as a description of what actually happened.

What is awesome about this story, crappy headlines aside, is how a good friend and an Internet community managed to not only alert two young Russian women that the “agency” was lying to them, that the replacement jobs they’d been promised were actually at a skeazy strip club, and — even more important — while government “hotlines” and “counseling” proved to be alienating and more or less completely useless, an ad hoc group of folks on MetaFilter managed to come together to connect the women with information, a safe place to stay in New York, a friend to advocate for them and help them out, and leads on getting help to secure straightened-out visas — meaning practical solidarity and mutual aid, through an ad hoc distributed grassroots network, scattered throughout cities all across the continent, which managed to foil a gang of lying traffickers, helped two women get themselves out of a really dicey situation, and provided with plenty of resources to help them land on their feet.

(Story thanks to a private correspondent.)

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