Sex Trafficking Lawsuit News: Mailchimp Allegedly Enabled Forced Commercial Sex

Published on December 4, 2019 by Laurie Villanueva

Mailchimp is the subject of a new lawsuit that alleges the online email marketing platform enabled sex trafficking.

How a Sex Trafficker Allegedly Used Mailchimp

According to BuzzFeed News, this latest sex trafficking lawsuit was filed last week in Georgia on behalf of a Wisconsin women who claims Mailchimp worked with YesBackpage.com, a copycat site created after Backpage.com was shut down for facilitating commercial sex.

The woman’s trafficker – who apparently withheld her identity documents and subjected her to physical abuse – allegedly received an email promotion for Yesbackpage.com via Mailchimp. He subsequently turned to Yesbackpage.com to advertise his victim’s forced sexual services.

“Here we have a sex trafficker who was looking: ‘Where do I go after Backpage? How am I going to sell this particular Jane Doe for sex?’” the woman’s attorney told BuzzFeed News. “Well, all of a sudden Mailchimp delivers the solution to his mailbox.”

While Mailchimp would not discuss the specifics of the lawsuit, a representative did confirm that the service no longer works with Yesbackpage.com.

“While we can’t say much about the allegations in the complaint because this is a sensitive legal matter, we can tell you we absolutely don’t allow content related to illegal activity on our platform, as stated in our Standard Terms of Use and Acceptable Use Policy,” the spokesperson said. “We take action immediately when we become aware of potential abuse of our platform.”

Recent Sex Trafficking Lawsuits Target Hotels

The Mailchimp lawsuit isn’t the first time third parties have been accused of enabling sex trafficking.

Just last month, a sex trafficking lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, alleged that Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Choice Hotels Corporation were complicit in the sexual exploitation of a 10-year-old girl because franchises in the Bronx and Queens chose “to ignore the open and obvious presence of sex trafficking on their properties.”

Other recent sex trafficking lawsuits have targeted hotels in Atlanta, Georgia; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Houston, Texas.

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