Apple once threatened Facebook ban over maid abuse


A woman stands beside a sign about hiring domestic helpers for the Mideast outside an office in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. The Philippines, a leading source of global labor, has fought with alarm the spike in the number of Facebook pages, which have been used for illegal job recruitment and human trafficking in the last two years. Facebook suggested a pilot program to begin in 2021 that targeted Filipinas with pop-up messages and banner ads warning them about the dangers working overseas can pose. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

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December 25 2021 12:00 am

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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