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Babysitter app blocked on social media

A new babysitter app has been blocked by Twitter, and is being investigated by Facebook.

The app, called Predictim, was developed in California and offers a service which scans prospective babysitter's social media activity in order to determine how safe they may or may not be by looking for posts about drugs, violence of other undesirable content.

But after critics claimed algorithms should not be trusted to give advice on someone's employability, Facebook and Twitter have moved to take action against the app.

Earlier this month, Facebook revoked most of Predictim's access to users, deeming the firm to be in violation of its policies on use of personal data, and now an investigation is ongoing to determine whether or not to entirely block the firm from its platform.

Predictim's chief executive and co-founder Sal Parsa told the BBC: "Everyone looks people up on social media, they look people up on Google. We're just automating this process."

But Facebook argued that scraping people's personal information was against their terms of service.

A spokeswoman said: "Scraping people's information on Facebook is against our terms of service. We will be investigating Predictim for violations of our terms, including to see if they are engaging in scraping."

Meanwhile, Twitter told the BBC it had recently opted to block Predictim from accessing its users.

A spokeswoman told the outlet: "We strictly prohibit the use of Twitter data and APIs for surveillance purposes, including performing background checks. When we became aware of Predictim's services, we conducted an investigation and revoked their access to Twitter's public APIs."

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