ASU Researchers Tracking Social Media For Indicators Of Human Trafficking Activity

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 4:47pm

Arizona State University researchers have been monitoring social media in recent weeks to look for indicators of human trafficking activity in the Valley.

ASU's Kena Fedorschak presented a tool Thursday developed for tracking keywords on Twitter.

"Up here we have escort, backpage, GFE — girlfriend experience, that's a typical prostitution term — incall, outcall, similar and others," Fedorschak said.

The tool also has the ability to geolocate, or determine the location of, social media users.

Data will be collected through the Super Bowl weekend and researchers begin their analysis next week.

A full report from the two-year study, which will compare last year's Super Bowl trafficking activity to this year's, will be released in February.

The McCain Institute for International Leadership partnered with ASU’s Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research for the study.

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