Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market

BBC News goes undercover in Kuwait to investigate and expose those who engage in human trafficking and sell slaves.

Using modern tools to buy and sell slaves, the documentary seeks to shine light on how social media facilitates the gap between buyer and seller.

Here, human traffickers use Instagram, Google and Apple apps to showcase their slaves locally and internationally.

To further the case against human trafficking, Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market takes a look at the people who engage in the practice and those they sell.

The stories are born out of cold greed for the sellers and pure misery for the slaves.

Some of these stories include one about a woman who put a child up for sale and regular maids seen as property.

At the heart of this powerful investigative film is Fatou, a 16 year old in Kuwait City who has been there for nine months.

We follow her rescue and journey back home to Guinea, West Africa and ask: what’s being done to control the apps promoted on Google, Apple and Facebook-owned Instagram?

After being alerted to the issue, Facebook said it had banned one of the hashtags involved and taken down 703 accounts from Instagram.

Google and Apple said they were working with app developers to prevent illegal activity.

Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market
  • Info
  • Release date2019
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Jess Kelly
  • Part of the seriesOur World
  • Production companyBBC News