One of the largest cloud-based software companies has found itself under a potentially scandalous lawsuit. San Francisco-based Salesforce is on the receiving end from 50 women that accused the company of profiting by helping a now-defunct sex-trafficking website Backpage to engage in sex trafficking on a global level, much impacting the companies formerly strong reputation of supporting social causes.
The group of women, identifying themselves anonymously as Jane Does, filed the lawsuit late Monday and recently come out in public, where they accused the company of knowingly providing services to the sex-trafficking website that helped them grow and expand, despite publicly claiming that they fought against human trafficking.
“Sex trafficking has hit epidemic proportions in our communities, and it has had a devastating effect on the victims and a crushing financial effect on the world. The biggest forum of sex trafficking in the United States has undisputedly been the website Backpage…Despite the growing public outcry and efforts to shut down Backpage, Salesforce stepped in at the same time to help Backpage survive and even grow. In public, including on Twitter, Salesforce boasted about fighting human trafficking using its data tools,” claimed the lawsuit. “But behind closed doors, Salesforce’s data tools were actually providing the backbone of Backpage’s exponential growth. Salesforce designed and implemented a heavily customized enterprise database tailored for Backpage’s operations, both locally and internationally. Salesforce didn’t just provide Backpage with a customer-ready version of its data and marketing tools.”
A spokeswoman for Salesforce went on to say that “We are deeply committed to the ethical and humane use of products and take these allegations seriously; however we don’t comment on pending litigation.” The company, which is estimated at around $123 billion in market cap, could see a drastic fine should courts find the company guilty, if not offer a significant settlement to these women.
While only time will tell whether or not that case will reach such a level, lead attorneys for the case have publicly stated that the evidence that Salesforce was supporting this sex trafficking website is undeniable. “The evidence of Salesforce’s liability is overwhelming and the damages that have been caused to the victims and our communities as a result are monumental,” commented lead attorney Annie McAdams. “It’s simply not enough to say fighting human trafficking is important. Internal policies and procedures have to reflect that commitment.”
In response to the news development, shares of Salesforce dipped around 2.7 percent as markets overall look to see how this potential scandal will unfold. Ironically, the lawsuit was announced the same day that Salesforce was named the 2019 humanitarian company of the year by the Red Cross in San Francisco area.
Salesforce Company Profile
Salesforce.com provides enterprise cloud computing solutions, including Sales Cloud, the company’s main customer relationship management software-as-a-service product. Salesforce.com also offers Service Cloud for customer support, Marketing Cloud for digital marketing campaigns, Commerce Cloud as an e-commerce engine, the Salesforce Platform, which allows enterprises to build applications, and other solutions, such as MuleSoft for data integration. – Warrior Trading News