Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared before a senate hearing this week to spell out all the ways she thinks the social media giant is harming society. According to her (and the internal company documents she has provided to reporters and lawmakers), Facebook has consistently prioritized profit over user safety at every chance it gets. Now, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has broken his silence on the matter for the first time, posting a lengthy defense of his company on his personal Facebook page.
“At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being. That’s just not true,” Zuckerberg wrote in his post. “If we didn’t care about fighting harmful content, then why would we employ so many more people dedicated to this than any other company in our space — even ones larger than us? If we wanted to hide our results, why would we have established an industry-leading standard for transparency and reporting on what we’re doing?”
Of course, Zuckerberg is right in the sense that Facebook has made investments to address these issues. However, the investments it has made are a drop in the bucket of the company’s overall revenue, and it isn’t always clear they’re working. The bottom line is that Facebook needs to do a better job of protecting users — and even the company agrees on that.
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