By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
- Apple threatened to remove Facebook from its App Store after a report about an online slave market.
- The BBC in 2019 reported that human traffickers were using Facebook’s services to sell domestic workers.Apple threatened to kick Facebook off its App Store after a 2019 BBC report detailed how human traffickers were using Facebook to sell victims, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The paper viewed company documents that show a Facebook investigation team was tracking down a human trafficking market in the Middle East whose organizers were using Facebook’s services. What appeared to be employment agencies were advertising domestic workers that they could supply against their will, per the Journal.
The BBC published a sweeping undercover investigation of the practice, prompting Apple to threaten to remove Facebook from its store, the paper said.
An internal memo found that Facebook was aware of the practice even before then: A Facebook researcher wrote in a report dated 2019, “was this issue known to Facebook before BBC inquiry and Apple escalation?,” per the Journal.
Underneath the question reads, “Yes. Throughout 2018 and H1 2019 we conducted the global Understanding Exercise in order to fully understand how domestic servitude manifests no our platform across its entire life cycle: recruitment, facilitation, and exploitation.”
Apple and Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.