Google and Trafficking

On Friday, March 6th I attended Trafficked: A Political Fashion Show hosted by Berkeley’s Gabriela Network (GABNet). “GABNet’s Berkeley Unit chapter is an active, expanding chapter that is organizing, educating, networking, fundraising, and advocating around the issues of sex trafficking, globalization, militarism, labor export and other issues affecting the lives of Pilipinas around the world.” The focus of Friday’s event was sex trafficking.

High lights of what I learned:

20 million women and children have been trafficked into the global sex trade

At the low price $150

As young as the age 4

After attending the political fashion show, I had a mixture of emotions. I was amazed by what a great event it was, disgusted by the severity of sex trafficking, and inspired to do something to fight it. My emotions of disgust resurfaced after reading a blog post on called “Happy Slippin’ on Google AdSense.” After skimming through the post, I quickly opened up my browser and googled “Filipino.” Just as described, to the right of this search were sponsored links for “Filipina dating” sites. The ads that show as sponsored links are based on fancy algorithms that use frequency of keywords, surfing trends, and other devices that may help relate searches to sponsors. It is sad to know that “Filipino” is instantly linked to mail order brides. Note that I did not type anything female specific like “Filipina”, “pinay”, or “woman.” Just …“Filipino.” This alone shows the impact of the sex trade industry to our motherland.

Google Sponser Ads Showing Trafficking with Berkeley's GabNet Flyer for the Event
Google Sponser Ads Showing Trafficking with Berkeley's GabNet Flyer for the Event

While I was furious after going to show, it also allowed me to realize how fortunate I am as a woman; how lucky I am to have complete control over my body. In the midst of midterms, boy problems, and deadlines, I sometimes lack to realize how blessed I am. I have a wonderful support network, studying at one of the best schools, and have control over my future. How awesome is that? I think it is time to for us to do something, anything, to help others that don’t have these privileges.

{Sherelle Villacorta/ Production DeCal Staff}


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