Facebook was aware of criminal activity that was being perpetrated using the social network in developing countries, but often failed to act, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal company documents.
“The documents show that employees were sounding the alarm about how the platform was being used in some developing countries with a huge and growing user base. They also show the company’s responses, which in many cases are inadequate or non-existent,” the report said.
According to their information, the company was aware of cases of Facebook being used to lure women into sex slavery in the Middle East, incite violence against ethnic minorities in Ethiopia, recruit, train and pay mercenaries for a Mexican cartel, and other illegal activities. However, the social network’s leadership chose to focus its efforts on retaining users, helping business partners, and at times “making arrangements with authoritarian governments” whose support Facebook needed to operate within their borders.
As a former Facebook vice president explained to the publication, the company sees problems in developing countries as “simply the cost of doing business, focusing on providing security in richer markets with powerful governments and media.
Earlier, it was revealed that Facebook had underreported Instagram’s negative impact on teens. In August, U.S. senators urged Facebook to release their findings, to which they received a six-page letter with “evasive” answers to questions.