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Smugglers are using TikTok, Instagram to dupe Americans into smuggling migrants

Border Patrol agent says 90% of drivers arrested were recruited on social media.

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Enlarge (credit: Mario Tama / Staff | Getty Images News)

Sometimes attracting drivers as young as 14 with emoji-filled posts that promise thousands of dollars “for just a few hours of driving,” smugglers often rely on social media to recruit Americans to help migrants illegally cross the US-Mexico border, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Popular platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter all told the WSJ that they prohibit these posts. However, the Journal talked to local and federal law-enforcement officials, as well as defense attorneys for Americans recruited on social media, who confirmed that despite those bans, the trend is “increasingly common.”

When contacted by Ars, a Twitter spokesperson pointed out that the Journal’s report didn’t include specific examples of this activity happening on the platform. The spokesperson linked to Twitter’s Transparency Center, where the company tracks reports on this content.

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