The very Best of the Internet happened just 5 days ago on MetaFilter. A user named “fake” posts a thread asking for help for two girls from Russia:
A Russian friend of mine may be in a dangerous situation in Washington, DC.
My friend and former student K arrived in DC yesterday, along with a friend. She came over on some kind of travel exchange program put together by a Russian travel agency called ‘XXXXX’. They paid about 3K for this program.
The program promised a job offer in advance, but didn’t deliver. They said they would send one via email, but failed there, too.
Her contact in the USA barely speaks English, doesn’t answer her calls but does answer mine. He has asked her and her friend to meet in NYC tonight around midnight, with promises of hostess work in a lounge. Yes, I know how horrific that sounds- that’s why I am working all possible angles here.
A dramatic story of what could have become sex trafficking plays out in a single internet thread. It’s an adventure to read, and I won’t spoil it for you. I just have to say: This is what the internet can do.This is what people can do.