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Texas woman sues Facebook claiming social media site enabled sex trafficking

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A Texas woman, claiming that she was raped, beaten and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform.

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe in court papers filed in Harris County District Court in Houston on Monday, also named as defendants the now-shuttered classified ads website Backpage.com and its founders.

Facebook did not respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

Attorneys for Backpage.com and the former employees named in the lawsuit as defendants also did not return calls for comment.

According to the lawsuit, the woman was “friended” on Facebook in 2012 by a user who appeared to know several of her real-life friends. The man messaged her through Facebook, according to the lawsuit, which was seen by Reuters.

The lawsuit alleges that at one point following an argument with her mother, the trafficker offered to console her, but after picking her up from her home he beat and raped her and took pictures that were posted on Backpage.com.

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The lawsuit says Facebook did not do enough to verify the user’s identity, which the lawsuit said was false, and that Jane Doe was never warned that sex traffickers were operating on the social media network.

The plaintiff’s attorneys, David Harris and Louie Cook of the law firm Sico Hoelscher Harris LLP in Houston, did not reply to requests for comment.Backpage.com was shut down by authorities earlier this year after a Justice Department investigation into allegations that the website was used primarily to sell sex.

Reporting by Dan Whitcom; Editing by Bill Tarrant

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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2020 Election

Trump un-ironically worries a presidential candidate who refuses to concede and then shreds the constitution

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President Donald Trump officially kicked off his re-election campaign at a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida -- the 60th campaign rally of his presidency.

During the speech, Trump offered a good deal of projection as he made baseless accusations against Democrats -- on the same exact topics where he has been credibly accused.

"This election is a verdict on whether we want to live in a country where the people will lose an election, refused to concede to spend the next two years trying to shred our Constitution and rip your country apart," Trump argued.

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An economic crash is looming, and it could determine the fate of Trump — and the country

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If he times it right, Donald Trump might set back the Democratic Party for a generation or more; if he misses, he’ll go down in history along with Herbert Hoover as the guy who brought the nation an economic disaster.

Back in 2007 and early 2008, many of us were convinced that an economic crash was coming, and that George W. Bush and his Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, and Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan, knew it.

And we also thought that they were doing everything they could to hold it off so it would happen after the 2008 election, so if a Democrat was elected they could say the crash was because people were “worried about the incoming Democrats,” and if McCain won it would be his problem, not Bush’s.

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‘We have been under siege’: Trump falsely claims he has been ‘violently’ attacked by his critics

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President Donald Trump claimed to be the victim of "violence" during his official campaign kickoff in Orlando, Florida.

"Many times I said we would drain the swamp and that’s exactly what we are doing right now. We are draining the swamp," Trump claimed, despite having the most scandal-plagued administration in American history.

"And that is why the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently," Trump argued.

"For the last two and a half years we have been under siege and with the Mueller report we want and now they want a do-over. They want a do-over," he repeated.

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