HomeTechnologyTech newsApple nearly banned Facebook apps from the App Store, documents reveal

Apple nearly banned Facebook apps from the App Store, documents reveal

Sounds crazy, but internal Apple documents showed that the iPhone maker nearly banned Facebook and Instagram from its official app store in 2019. According to internal documents, called Facebook Papers and leaked by whistleblower Frances Haugen, the company was allegedly accused of violate App Store terms.

The confusion would have occurred because Facebook allegedly allowed abusive activity on the network after Filipino women complained of criminal practices on the network. They accuse the platform of colluding with the practice of human trafficking, as it allowed groups and the Marketplace to be used for buying, selling and negotiating women to work as domestic servants in the Middle East.

According to the Associated Press news agency, until today, two years after the allegations, it is still possible to locate users in search of “employees” (khadima, in Arabic) to work on their resistance, especially African and South Asian women, of listed ages and prices. More than 60% of the requests would have come from Saudi Arabia and about 25% were from Egypt, according to a 2019 analysis by Facebook.

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These women are sent to a completely different country, unable to speak the language and are trapped in the employers’ homes — as exposed by the AP, there are cases where they don’t even have the key. The article emphasizes that the salaries paid are negligible and the conditions, in many cases, border on slavery, not to mention cases of abuse.

This type of practice is obviously condemned by Apple, which maintains a strict policy of control over the content of listed apps. Facebook then gathered all the measures taken and sent it to Apple, which, possibly in order not to raise too much controversy, backed down by allowing the two social networks to remain available to iOS users in the App Store.

Facebook at the center of several controversies

Documents leaked by Haugen revealed several internal issues of the network, such as the allocation of a large part of the budget to keep teenagers on the platform and plans to “profit at any cost”, even if this implies spreading disagreements on the social network. The attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 revealed that several officials were frustrated that they had done nothing to stop things from getting out of hand.

The social network has been accused of knowing that it has a negative impact on adolescent girls — in general, leaving them dissatisfied with their bodies — and not having taken concrete steps to combat this practice. Some vehicles even stamped the slides used by the platform to show the positive and harmful sides of the Instagram exposure.

Last week, it was also disclosed that the social network has problems with its moderation algorithm, which is still ineffective and with difficulties for languages ​​other than English. The artificial intelligence system confused a video of a mass shooting with a trip to the car wash, and cockfights were wrongly flagged as a car accident.

About the case presented, Facebook sent a statement to the AP in which it guarantees there are “targeted prevention and advertising campaigns in support of countries like the Philippines, where data suggest that people may be at high risk of exploitation”. The media outlet, however, alleges that the company did not respond to specific questions asked about its practices.

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