Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has addressed a string of allegations made by whistleblower Frances Hogan, denying that the social media company prioritizes its profits over the safety of its users.
“The crux of these accusations is the idea that we prioritize profit over safety and wellbeing,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his personal page on the platform. this is not true.
Zuckerberg’s comments come nearly a month after reports from the Wall Street Journal relied on internal Facebook research provided by Hugin, who left the social media company in May.
The stories highlight several issues with Facebook’s services that the company is aware of. But you either ignore it or don’t solve it. This includes research showing that Facebook is aware that Instagram is detrimental to the mental health of teens.
Of all that is being published, I focus in particular on the questions that have been raised about our work with children. I spend a lot of time thinking about the kinds of experiences I want my children and others to have online. And it’s very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for children.
Zuckerberg’s post comes after Hogan testified at the Capitol in front of senators about the problems the social media company is creating for society.
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Many of the allegations against Facebook are meaningless
Zuckerberg, without referring to Hugin, said many of the claims are meaningless. If we want to ignore research, why create an industry-leading research program to understand these important issues in the first place. And if we don’t care about fighting malicious content, then why do we hire so many more people dedicated to this purpose than any other company in our field. And if we want to hide our results, why have we set an industry-leading standard for transparency and reporting about what we do. And if social media is responsible for the polarization of society, why do we see polarization increasing in the United States while remaining stable or declining in many countries with the heavy use of social media around the world.
Zuckerberg also added that the argument that we are deliberately promoting content that makes people angry for profit is completely illogical. We make money from ads, and advertisers constantly tell us that they don’t want their ads to show next to malicious or angry content.
Zuckerberg also called on Congress to update Internet regulations that specify the age at which teens should be allowed to use Internet services. And how tech companies should verify the ages of users. And how companies must balance giving children privacy with giving parents insight into their children’s online activity.
Like balancing other social issues, he wrote, I don’t think private companies should make all decisions on their own. That’s why we’ve advocated for updated internet regulations for several years now.
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