In more than three hours of riveting testimony, a former Facebook employee tore into the now embattled social networking giant, blaming its “metrics” driven culture for hurting children, fuelling hate and walking away from ethical considerations because profits come first.
Frances Haugen, testifying to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, accused Facebook of intentionally walking away from fixing its broken algorithms that fuel some of the worst effects of addictive social media apps. Haugen claims Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg knew about internal research showing potential negative impacts of Instagram.
Taking note of the serious allegations against Facebook, Zuckerberg, in a strongly-worded letter, refuted to all claims made by Haugen. He rubbished the “profit over safety” remark is “just not true” and “deeply illogical.” Before sharing the note on his Facebook profile, Zuckerberg addressed the elephant in the room – the outage – and ways it can avoid a reoccurrence in the future.
Here are some glimpses of full statement below:
“The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical. We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content. And I don’t know any tech company that sets out to build products that make people angry or depressed. The moral, business and product incentives all point in the opposite direction.
But of everything published, I’m particularly focused on the questions raised about our work with kids. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the kinds of experiences I want my kids and others to have online, and it’s very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for kids.”