Microsoft fights child sex trafficking with research dollars

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Microsoft announced Wednesday that it is aggressively funding research aimed at fighting child sex trafficking.

First announced on Seattle public radio station KUOW, six research teams received $185,000 in funding “to advance deeper understanding of the advertising and selling of children and the use of technology by ‘johns’ in the child sex trade.”

The software and computer technology giant first requested academic grant proposals in December.

The institutions represented among the award recipients are Montclair State University, the Center for Court Innovation, Mount Royal University, Catholic University of America, University of New Hampshire Crimes against Children Research Center, Wellesley College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

One research project conducted through Mount Royal University will focus on “demand and how technology has changed the recruiting, buying and selling process in trafficking.”

Another project, coordinated in Lincoln, Neb., will research “the role of the Internet in child sex trafficking and the clandestine language used in Web advertising to facilitate child sex trafficking.”

“We are energized by the insights we anticipate will emerge from these researcher’s efforts and look forward to applying the knowledge gained to continue our collaboration with public and private sector leaders to make a substantial difference in the fight against trafficking and child sexual exploitation,” said Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit spokeswoman Samantha Doerr.

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