Identification and detection of human trafficking using language models
November 26, 2019
In this paper, we present a novel language model-based method for detecting both human trafficking ads and trafficking indicators. The proposed system leverages language models to learn language structures in adult service ads, automatically select a list of keyword features, and train a machine learning model to detect human trafficking ads. The method is interpretable and adaptable to changing keywords used by traffickers. We apply this method to the Trafficking-10k dataset and show that it achieves better results than the previous models that leverage both ad text and images for detection. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our system can be successfully applied to detect suspected human trafficking organizations and rank these organizations based on their risk scores. This method provides a powerful new capability for law enforcement to rapidly identify ads and organizations that are suspected of human trafficking and allow more proactive policing using data.