Texas governor says Mexican drug cartels use TikTok to search out smugglers

The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, alleged that TikTok was promoting human trafficking in Texas. (Getty Images)

An American Governor condemned TikTok, claiming Mexcan drug cartels use the platform to recruit smugglers from the United States.

Last week, The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, alleged TikTok was promoting human trafficking in Texas and criticized the Biden administration’s response.

‘Cartels in Mexico are using TikTok to advertise, to recruit smugglers in Texas, in San Antonio, Houston, and other cities in Texas and maybe some other states, to advertise for smugglers, for pay, for them to smuggle people here in Texas, which would include victims of human trafficking,’ said Abbott.

‘TikTok should be ashamed, condemned, and have brought a legal action against it for the promotion of human trafficking in Texas and the United States of America,’ Abbott said in the briefing.

Cartel TikTok is a side of the social media platform where videos of drug trafficking groups and their activities racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

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Cartel content which had been circulating on Mexican social media for years, began flooding TikTok feeds in the US in 2020 after a clip of a high-speed boat chase went viral on the video-sharing platform.

Asked about their policy regarding the videos, a TikTok spokeswoman told the New York Times that the company was ‘committed to working with law enforcement to combat organized criminal activity,’

TikTok also said that it had since removed ‘content and accounts that promote illegal activity’.

Online portrayals of narco culture go back more than a decade.

Phone with TikTok logo

TikTok says it is committed to working with law enforcement to combat organized criminal activity (Getty Images)

With cartels becoming more digitally savvy, they seem to have taken advantage of platforms like TikTok to target potential recruits.

The videos reportedly show young men in rural Mexico the potential benefits of joining the drug trade like endless cash, expensive cars, beautiful women, exotic pets.

Metro.co.uk has reached out to TikTok for comment.

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