Technology advancements over the past few decades have proven that there’s a dark side to mirror the wonders it has provided. While outrageous hypotheses exist in the sci-fi genre, some are just as horrifying in the realm of nonfiction, perhaps making them even more terrifying for just that reason. One of the biggest evils to emerge from the advent of technology is its role in the child sex trafficking industry.
With social media and the ability to stay anonymous, many dangerous people are able to mask their true intentions or simply groom young minds. The power of the written word is stronger than the spoken one because people conform it to match their narrative. There is an infinite pool of victims online who are in search of the script they want to hear.
One of the struggles facing people trying to stop this abuse is that technology doesn’t exist to battle the problem effectively. Two celebrities who took notice were Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. After watching a documentary on the plight in Cambodia, they admitted their lives were irrevocably changed. While raising awareness is all well and good, they understood that a more advanced solution was required. Not only the creation of it but also the increased acceptance and usage of such an idea.
Innovation is the first step in any tech idea, and that can only be achieved by a team of talented people with the right skills and enough passion. The non-profit Thorn was born with the goal of identifying child sex trafficking victims, especially ones who were targeted and sold online. There are so many avenues these days that predators can use to get close to a child, and Thorn knew it had to develop a way to become partners with all of them, including law enforcement, and they needed the quickest way towards collaboration and data sharing. With the wise foresight of the company leaders, Thorn began offering their software for free to law enforcement, thereby bypassing bureaucratic obstacles.
Thorn is on a perpetual quest to bring an end to child sex trafficking. They follow their multi-step repurposing model whenever a new technology emerges. The first is to accelerate victim identification. This is followed by equipping platforms. The final step is empowering the public to help win this fight.