Following controversy over TikTok’s national security implications, the app has been found hosting advertisements for human smuggling jobs.
Earlier this year, the Chinese-owned social media app was banned from state-issued devices and state networks in an effort to prevent China from having access to Texans’ data.
Now, the app has been exposed hosting videos that solicit drivers for human smuggling jobs.
Videos show stacks of hundred dollar bills and people crammed into the backseat of a car. The video then lists various Texas cities where smugglers are soliciting drivers for illegal transactions.
TikTok allows human traffickers to post help wanted ads to recruit smugglers.
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 5, 2023
TikTok is known for its strict regulations and censorship of content. They even have a “Safety and Civility” section on their community guidelines page that states they do not permit human exploitation, “including trafficking and smuggling.” However, TikTok seems to be aware of the account and has placed a disclaimer on one of the advertisements, reading, “Participating in this activity could result in you or others getting hurt.”
The Post Millennial first uncovered the concerning account after a visit with Kinney County’s Sheriff’s Department. Investigative journalist Tayler Hansen spoke to Deputy Danny Molinar, who shared that this method is an increasingly common way of advertising smuggling jobs.
Kinney County, situated between two ports of entry in Eagle Pass and Del Rio, deals with a considerable amount of human smuggling cases because of its location on the border. According to Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe, these types of messages are effective at targeting those “hurting for money.”
The TikTok account uncovered by Hansen remains active, with the last video posted only a week ago.