Last fall, a man I’ll call Michael sat down at his computer, logged into Facebook, and prepared to begin his new life as a wildlife trafficker. First, he loaded a fake profile with scenic safari photos from his made-up job in a national park in southern Africa. He sent friend requests to a couple traffickers in Vietnam and joined the Facebook groups they invited him to. Since he’s not fluent in Vietnamese, he used Google Translate to assist with introductions. He posted a couple terms like ngà voi and sừng tê giác. Translated, that means “ivory” and “rhino horns.” As a former law-enforcement agent in southern Africa, Michael had spent years investigating criminal networks, including the ones that trade endangered species. Now, working on behalf of an anti-poaching group, he had walked right through the front doors of Facebook’s black market in illicit wildlife, where criminal networks appear to buy and sell ivory hacked from the tusks of endangered and vulnerable elephants and horns chopped off the snouts of rhinos that are rapidly going extinct. On Facebook, wildlife traffickers can speedily connect with buyers across the globe, fast-tracking illegal, unregulated deals from within the semiprivate world of groups. That means,… Read full this story
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Tusks, Horns, and Claws: The Fight to Dismantle the Facebook Animal Parts Bazaar have 279 words, post on www.wired.com at June 5, 2018. This is cached page on Movie Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.