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Facebook Messed Up Big Time And Accidentally Declared This Country At War

Facebook isn't always the best at being anything other than Western-centric.

The company triggers safety check-ins for attacks in Western cities but ignores them when they happen in Africa or the Middle East. It gives you options to change your profile picture in honor of Western attacks and American laws, but rarely for anything in Africa, the Middle East or Asia.

So, it's not that big of a surprise they messed up an attempt to provide a service for the Philippines.

On Sunday, Facebook provided an image for users in the Philippines in order to wish them a happy Independence Day.

But the company used the wrong flag and inadvertently declared the country at war.

The Philippines flag is typically the style you see in the image, but with the blue color on top and the red at the bottom. The country flips the red and blue colors on the flag when it's at war.

Facebook issued an apology for the mix-up. A spokesperson told the Philippine Star,

We care deeply about the community in the Philippines and, in an attempt to connect people on Independence Day, we made a mistake.

Facebook said it was "unintentional, and we're sorry."

The apology was absolutely necessary. But this just shows why you need a diverse workplace, especially when you're serving a diverse group of consumers. Clearly, no one from Facebook who was familiar with the Philippines looked at the image before it was loaded onto the site. Had someone done so, it would've been clear.

As of last summer, 55 percent of US Facebook employees were white. 36 percent are Asian and Hispanic, while African Americans make up a grand total of 6 percent of its employees.

Facebook, just like other major tech companies, is serving a huge number of people around the world. Its employees should reflect that, and cultural mistakes like this are proof they do not.

 

Citations: Business Insider, The Guardian