News article by Justin Scheck, Newley Purnell and Jeff Horwitz. Part Four of The Facebook Files. Published in The Wall Street Journal.
Scores of Facebook documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show employees raising alarms about how its platforms are used in developing countries, where its user base is huge and expanding. Employees flagged that human traffickers in the Middle East used the site to lure women into abusive employment situations. They warned that armed groups in Ethiopia used the site to incite violence against ethnic minorities. They sent alerts to their bosses about organ selling, pornography and government action against political dissent, according to the documents. They also show the company’s response, which in many instances is inadequate or nothing at all. A Facebook spokesman said the company has deployed global teams, local partnerships and third-party fact checkers to keep users safe. (Listen to a related podcast.)