WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Technology giants, Amazon and Microsoft, are now in the middle of a controversy regarding sex trafficking.
- Their employees boldly sent emails to pimps and brothels using their company accounts.
- This proves how the tech industry patronizes buying services from trafficked sex workers.
Newsweek recently reported a new problem involving sexism and misogyny in the tech industry. The magazine got hold of a series of emails sent to brothels and pimps from 2014 to 2016. This communication proves the tech industry’s patronage of brothels.
The emails were obtained by making a public records request to the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Among those emails, 67 were sent from Microsoft employee email accounts while 63 were from Amazon accounts. Dozens more were sent from companies like T-Mobile, Boeing, Oracle and local Seattle tech companies.
In 2015, there was a sting operation that targeted sex worker review boards. Some of the emails were gathered during that operation that led to the arrest of 18 individuals including top Amazon and Microsoft directors. Two of them decided to go to court. The trial is currently set to begin in March.
Seattle’s sex and tech industry have grown side by side with some men spending up to $50,000 on sex workers per year. Brothels even advertise how near they are to tech offices. Alex Trouteaud, director of policy and research at the anti-trafficking organization Demand Abolition, said that the tech industry is a “culture that has readily embraced sex trafficking.”
Microsoft sent a statement to Newsweek saying: “Microsoft has a long history of cooperating with law enforcement and other agencies on combating sex trafficking and related topics, and we have employees who volunteer their time and money specifically to combat this issue as well. The personal conduct of a tiny fraction of our 125,000 employees does not in any way represent our culture. No organization is immune to the unfortunate situation when employees act unethically or illegally. When that happens, we look into the conduct and take appropriate action. Microsoft makes it clear to our employees they have a responsibility to act with integrity and conduct themselves in a legal and ethical manner at all times. If they don’t, they risk losing their jobs.”
Amazon, on the other hand, told Newsweek it’s investigating the issue. “Amazon’s Owner’s Manual clearly states that, ‘It is against Amazon’s policy for any employee or Contingent Worker to engage in any sex buying activities of any kind in Amazon’s workplace or in any work-related setting outside of the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings or business-related social events.’ When Amazon suspects that an employee has used company funds or resources to engage in criminal conduct, the company will immediately investigate and take appropriate action up to and including termination. The company may also refer the matter to law enforcement.”