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Apple Threatens Facebook With Ban Over Instagram Human Trafficking Ads: Report

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Apple Threatens Facebook With Ban Over Instagram Human Trafficking Ads: Report

According to a BBC report, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) threatened to ban Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) photo-based social media platform Instagram from its iOS App Store after recent reports of slaves for sale being advertised on the platform.

What Happened: A mid-September Wall Street Journal investigation accused Facebook of a weak response to the activities of drug cartels and human traffickers.

Hashtags — mostly in Arabic — used by users in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait purportedly featured sale ads for the illegal buying and selling of domestic workers for a few thousand dollars and categorized by race.

The women sold were reportedly deprived of their basic rights, unable to leave and at risk of being sold again in a condition that amounted to slavery. The trades were carried out using multiple apps including Instagram — owned by Facebook, which allegedly knew about and had been investigating the online slave trade since at least 2018.

After a 2019 BBC report on the issue, Facebook banned the main hashtag used for slave sale ads and banned hundreds of Instagram accounts, but as of press time, the ads are still present under different hashtags. BBC alerted both Alphabet Inc.(NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Apple of slaves being sold through apps available on their app stores breaching their rules for app developers.

Google said it was "deeply troubled" by the findings while Apple said that it expected the developers — namely Facebook — to take "immediate corrective actions." The activity continuing until the present time resulted in Apple threatening Facebook with the removal of its app from its store.

FB Price Action: Facebook's stock is seemingly unaffected by the report and gained 0.8% Thursday to close at $345.96. 

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