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The Facebook Papers: Apple once threatened Facebook ban over Mideast maid abuse

Facebook Papers Mideast Maid Abuse
Posted at 12:23 PM, Nov 01, 2021

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Apple threatened to pull Facebook and Instagram from its app store two years ago over concerns about the platform being used as a tool to trade and sell maids in the Mideast.

Facebook acknowledged in internal documents obtained by The Associated Press that it was "under-enforcing on confirmed abusive activity" that saw Filipina maids complaining on the site of being abused.

Apple relented and Facebook and Instagram remained in the app store. Yet these ads continue to appear. Facebook says it took the problem seriously, despite the continued spread of ads exploiting foreign workers in the Mideast. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

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EXPLAINER: Just what are 'The Facebook Papers,' anyway?

By The Associated Press

The Facebook Papers project represents a unique collaboration among 17 American news organizations, including The Associated Press.

Journalists from a variety of newsrooms worked together to gain access to thousands of pages of internal company documents obtained by Frances Haugen. Haugen is the former Facebook product manager-turned-whistleblower.

The papers are redacted versions of disclosures that Haugen has made over several months to the Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging Facebook was prioritizing profits over safety and hiding its research from investors and the public. These complaints cover topics including how its platforms might harm children and its alleged role in inciting political violence.

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