- The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple threatened to remove Facebook from the App Store in 2019 over human trafficking concerns
- Facebook documents obtained by the Journal reveal that its employees were searching for human traffickers in the Middle East who were using its apps
- Criminals posted photos, skill sets and personal details of women
- They advertised them as domestic workers, but were actually selling them as slaves or sex workers to the highest bidder.
The WSJ obtained internal documents from the social media firm detailing how its own employees were searching for human traffickers in the Middle East.
Facebook investigators found that these groups posted ads for domestic workers to sell women as slaves or sex workers.
The WSJ found that Facebook removes some of these pages, but it has yet to put in place a system that prevents criminals from reposting under a new account.
Apple threatened to remove Facebook’s app from the App Store in 2019, following a BBC report that human traffickers set up a ‘slave market’ to sell women to the highest bidder.
On the other hand, fixing this system doesn’t put money in Facebook’s pocket and the company spends its time retaining users, helping business partners, and “pacifying sometimes authoritarian governments,” according to the WSJ. .
Facebook’s former vice president Brian Boland, who oversaw partnerships with internet providers in Africa and Asia before resigning late last year, told the newspaper that the social media company sees abuse in developing countries as “simply the cost of doing business”. I look in. ‘
It is not yet clear why Apple did not comply with its threat in 2019.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Facebook and Apple for comment and has yet to receive a response.
Brian Boland, Facebook’s former vice president who oversaw partnerships with internet providers in Africa and Asia before resigning late last year, told the newspaper that the social media company sees abuse in developing countries as “simply the cost of doing business”. I look in.
The WSJ notes that Facebook’s investigative team spent more than a year documenting a flourishing slave trade in the Middle East, all of which was happening on its own apps — specifically the main Facebook app and Instagram.
They found that criminals shared photos, skill details and personal details of their victims, along with a specific hashtag, to let buyers know they were seeing sex workers.
According to the WSJ report, Facebook had removed some of the pages, but it did so after Apple threatened to remove it from its App Store.
And the threat was in response to a BBC story on maids for sale.
The WSJ noted that Facebook’s investigative team spent more than the year documenting the booming slave trade in the Middle East, which was all happening on its own apps — specifically the main Facebook app and Instagram.
An internal memo found that Facebook had been aware of the practice before: ‘Was this issue known to Facebook before the BBC inquiries and Apple grew?,’ a Facebook researcher wrote in a 2019 report, according to the Journal. .
And the answers include: ‘Yes. During 2018 and H1 2019 we conducted a global understanding exercise to fully understand how domestic slavery does not reveal our stage throughout its life cycle: recruitment, facilitation and exploitation.’
Internal documents also note that there is a limit to how Facebook works in some countries due to the language barrier.
According to the documents, the social media firm has few or no people speaking the specific dialects required to identify such criminal acts.