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Reports: IS Trafficking in Yazidi Slaves Via Social Media

The Associated Press is reporting that IS is advertising via encrypted messages the "sale" of Yazidi women, an ethnic group indigenous to Iraq that has been targeted by IS.

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IS trafficking in Yazidi. Image Sources: www.abc.net.au
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  • IS advertises via encrypted messages the “sale” of Yazidi women, an ethnic group indigenous to Iraq 
  • The slaves are said to be held against their will and often subjected to rape as well as forced labour
  • IS kidnapped thousands of Yazidi women and children in August 2014 when it attacked their homes and villages in northwestern Iraq near the border with Syria

Members of the Islamic State group have started advertising women and children for sale on social networking applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Telegram, says reports.

IS trafficking women and children. Image Sources: www.bbc.com
IS trafficking women and children. Image Sources: www.bbc.com

The Associated Press is reporting that IS is advertising via encrypted messages the “sale” of Yazidi women, an ethnic group indigenous to Iraq that has been targeted by IS.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department, John Kirby, told AP the United States continues “to be appalled by credible reports that Daesh [Islamic State] is trafficking in human beings, and sex slavery in particular.”

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“This depravity,” he said, “not only speaks to the degree to which Daesh cheapens life and repudiates the Islamic faith, it also strengthens our resolve to defeat them.”

Islamic State kidnapped thousands of Yazidi women and children in August 2014 when it attacked their homes and villages in northwestern Iraq near the border with Syria. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured some of that territory, but many children have been orphaned and many young women are believed to have been taken into slavery.

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The slaves are said to be held against their will and often subjected to rape as well as forced labor. While some women have escaped, they say the slaves are closely tracked and are often recovered, only to face punishment.

One escapee, Nadia Mourad, has spoken to U.S. and European lawmakers about getting more help for the Yazidis.

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“They are being used as human shields,” she told the European Parliament. “They are not allowed to escape or flee. Probably they will be assassinated. Where is the world in all this? Where is humanity?”

Telegram messenger. Image Source: www.independent.co.uk
Telegram messenger. Image Source: www.independent.co.uk

A representative for Telegram, a messaging app, said the company regularly removes public channels used by Islamic State and is committed to preventing abuse of the service. (VOA)

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Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups

The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces

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Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups
Facebook is Testing Paid Subscription Options For Private Groups. Pixabay

Facebook will soon let group administrators charge members for providing exclusive content on its platform.

Parenting, cooking and home cleaning private groups on the social networking platform will be the first ones to access the new feature as part of a pilot programme.

“We’re piloting subscriptions with a small number of groups to continue to support group admins who lead these communities,” Alex Deve, Product Director, Groups at Facebook, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Subscription groups align with the experience that Facebook made available to support video creators earlier in 2018.

Sarah Mueller started a group called “Declutter My Home” on Facebook as a way to inspire and motivate others to tidy up their apartment or house.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

The group quickly became an active community for helping tens of thousands of people across the world to reduce clutter in their spaces.

“With her new subscription group, ‘Organise My Home’, members will be able to work together on bite-sized projects, and have access to easily actionable checklists, tutorials, live videos and more to help with home organisation,” Facebook said.

“With the new ‘Organize My Home’ subscription group, I will be able to provide this new community with more interactive ways to having an organised home like mini-projects, group challenges, training, and live Q&A,” Mueller noted.

Also Read: Facebook rolls Out Several Monetisation Products

According to a report in The Next Web, group administrators will be able to charge up to $29.99 (monthly) during the pilot.

“For now, Facebook won’t be collecting a cut of the subscription fees,” the report added.

For members, they are now able to sign-up and manage their subscription through the Facebook app for iOS and Android. (IANS)