Meet Betty


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Meet Betty, and why she chooses to keep a very public profile on Facebook

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Meet Betty

  1. 1. Meet Betty Photo - “Remembering opens old scars” by Elisa R. Baralt, Flickr, CC - non-comm, attribution, non- derivs
  2. 2. Shes a friend of a friend on Facebook. Shes 22 and has 5,000 friends on Facebook, and more than 800 subscribers!Photo - “entrust” by pierofix, Flickr,CC - non-comm, attribution, non-derivs 2
  3. 3. The truth is, I was intrigued. Bettys hard to know because there ishardly any pictures of her. Her profile only says she lives inMorelos, Mexico. Since its public, I could see that she started usingFacebook a few months ago, and doesnt post much. But 5,000friends? I sent a friend request too. Photo - “Lets glow among the greys” by Elisa R. Baralt, Flickr, CC – non-co mm, attribution, non-derivs
  4. 4. Luckily, she added me. Although not very active, when she posts to her wall she writes about politics (she has good criteria), her city, her boss, work and other things.Photo by danny.hammontree, Flickr, 4Some rights reserved
  5. 5. Everyone likes her posts. Shes alovely person, wishing everyone agood day, sends hugs and kisses. Thetruth is that shes such a sweetheart,we watch out for her and give heradvice.. (Really, its not a good idea tosay youre taking off early from work on Photo - “Black and White” by Elisa R. Baralt,your Facebook.) Flickr, CC - non-comm, attribution, non-derivs
  6. 6. Betty is so popular among her friends that the other day when she asked who would follow her on Twitter if she decided to open an account, she got 72 “likes” and more than 100 comments – in the blink of an eye! Needless to say, shes now on Twitter.Photo by mallix, from Flickr,Some rights reserved
  7. 7. Something I like about Betty is that she knows how to take care of herself even though she seems so trusting. When a guy posted this awful comment, she told us that she did not tolerate violence on her wall and blocked him. We all supported her and congratulated her for having booted the bastard!Photo by :jovian:, Flickr,Some rights reserved 7
  8. 8. We started chatting via inbox, and I asked her, why do you have a public profile, thats whyyou get jerks like that. She told me its exactly because of that. She opened her account in March, but did not enjoy it so much and abandoned it for awhile. In August she was so surprised to see she had more than 1,000 friend requests. So she started to use it more. And now three months later she is getting 2,000 to 2,500 requests a month, mostly from Mexico. Photo by Collin Key - away again ,Flickr, Some rights reserved 8
  9. 9. Did you know that Mexico ranks fifth worldwide in the use of Facebook? She also told me that over 70% of contacts are men. They invite her out for coffee, to parties and even job offers. She says she never accepts because you never know who people really are on the internet. Photo by Chris JL , Flickr, Some rights reserved 9
  10. 10. The job offers are always to be a model or hostess, most from a neighboring town called Cuautla. She says she always wanted to be a model .... And the job offers are constant, even insistent, there are even promises of work abroad.Photo by Βethan, FlickrSome rights reserved 10
  11. 11. But, as I said, Betty knows how to take care of herself and all these invitations are weird. She thinks its all about trafficking of women.Photo - “Brown Eyes” by Elisa R.Baralt, Flickr,
  12. 12. Many of us do not know or dont understand what is happening. There are so many ways girls are tricked into trafficking. In Mexico, we have a law that sanctions human trafficking, but if girls go of their “own will”, its inapplicable. And Facebook is an excellent mechanism to reach out to the girlsExperts here say a handler takes less than 4 days via Face to convince a girl to go voluntarily to meet up with him. Afterwards shes either sweet-talked or kidnapped, but shes gone.There are many ways to deceive - making friends and talking girls up until their trust is won. Other times it is the lure and urgent necessity of a job – and on Facebook girls are invited to be models, hostesses, assistants, nannies, etc.Photo by ViaMoi , Flickr,Some rights reserved by 12
  13. 13. Teresa Ulloa, director of the Coalition AgainstTrafficking in Women and Girls in LatinAmerica and Caribbean (CATWLAC), saysthat in Mexico 50% of children, men andwomen victims of trafficking for sexualexploitation were contacted and preppedthrough the Internet, especially on networkssuch as Facebook. "Traffickers and pimps dont have to bother to have personal contact with their victims in order to gain their trust, make them fall in love with them, and convince them to leave their homes – full of illusions about going to meet the love of Photo by Thomas Hawk, Flickr, Some rights reserved their life.” 13
  14. 14. In Mexico, the problem is even more severe due to drug trafficking. Apart from sexual and labor exploitation, human trafficking feeds the drug trade by providing “hawks”, hitmen, and mules for drug transport. Trafficking is said to be Mexicos second biggest money maker, right after the drug trade itself.Photo by guano, Flickr,Some rights reserved 14
  15. 15. So, thats why Betty leaves her profile completely public. Shes trying to understand how all this is facilitated by Facebook. Shes become an internet activist, and works on the prevention of violence, spreading the word among youth and children – and to her friends on Facebook – about how to be safe.And shes part of Take Back the Tech! 15
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