For years, software giant Salesforce has carefully crafted an image for itself as a bastion of human rights. However, in a stunning reversal, the San Francisco tech titan is now being sued by 50 women in a San Francisco court for allegedly selling business tools to the now-defunct sex trafficking website Backpage.
50 Women Accuse Salesforce of Aiding Sex Traffickers
The shocking lawsuit, reproduced in its entirety at the bottom of its article, claims:
“In public, including on Twitter, Salesforce boasted about fighting human trafficking using its data tools. But behind closed doors, Salesforce’s data tools were actually providing the backbone of Backpage’s exponential growth. Salesforce didn’t just provide Backpage with a customer-ready version of its data and marketing tools. Salesforce designed and implemented a heavily customized enterprise database tailored for Backpage’s operations, both locally and internationally. With Salesforce’s guidance, Backpage was able to use Salesforce’s tools to market to new “users” — that is, pimps, johns, and traffickers — on three continents.”
The software giant has declined to comment on the allegations, but a spokeswoman for the company stated in a statement:
“We are deeply committed to the ethical and humane use of our products.”
The case is yet to be heard in court, and Salesforce is yet to be proven guilty. However, if bombshell the allegations are true, then Salesforce’s hypocrisy and ethical violations are genuinely shocking.
Backpage’s Sordid History
Until 2018, Backpage.com was the second largest classified ad listing service in the United States behind Craigslist. However, in 2018, the site was seized by the U.S. government. Several of the site’s top executives were arrested and charged with violations such as pimping.
Advertisements for prostitution reportedly generated a large percentage of the company’s revenue, and many of the people who were being advertised for sexual services were minors or people trafficked against their will. The entire Backpage website has now been shut down, due to the overwhelming evidence for its illegal activities.
Salesforce Stock Plummets Amid Alleged Sex Trafficking Hypocrisy
If Salesforce did help Backpage increase its prostitution and sex trafficking-related revenue, then it means the company participated in an activity that is disgusting, dark, and reprehensible.
This is especially true because the company has publicly spoken out about the need to uphold ethical standards and to fight against crime such as sex trafficking. It has even posted content on its site about nonprofits who are fighting sex trafficking.
One of the blog posts reads:
“Salesforce.org is humbled to be able to partner with nonprofits around the world to bring awareness to ‘World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.’”
Annie McAdams, the lead attorney for the women suing Salesforce, added in a statement:
“It’s simply not enough to say fighting human trafficking is important. Internal policies and procedures have to reflect that commitment.”
Salesforce shares plummeted in response to the allegations and had dropped 3.49 percent as of the time of writing.
Read the shocking lawsuit in its entirety below:
Salesforce lawsuit alleging… by on Scribd