Facebook vice president protest report claiming platform has several flaws it does not fix
Facebook’s vice president of global affairs criticized a series of stories from the the Wall Street newspaper who reported that the social network is aware of many issues on its platforms that harm users, but does little to address them.
In a post on the Facebook blog, Nick Clegg wrote that while it was “absolutely legitimate for us to be held accountable for the way we handle” some of the issues described in the Newspaper reports, the stories “contained deliberate misinterpretations of what we are trying to do and conferred glaring motives on Facebook management and employees.”
This week the Newspaper has posted an extensive series of high-profile Facebook stories, based on its review of internal documents, concluding that the company’s platforms “are riddled with flaws that cause damage, often in ways that only the company fully understands “.
The stories included details about the XCheck program that the Newspaper found celebrities exempt from standard Facebook moderation rules; a look at internal research that shows its Instagram photo platform is problematic for the mental health of young users; how Facebook’s changes to its algorithm increased engagement but actually made users angrier; a look at employee concerns about how its platforms can be used in human trafficking, and how CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s initiative to promote COVID-19 vaccines has prompted anti-vax campaigners to flood Facebook with âvaccination barrierâ content. You can read the whole Facebook file series here.
Two senators from the trade committee that oversees consumer protection said they were launching an investigation following the Journal of report that Facebook knew Instagram could be harmful to teenage girls.
Clegg said in his blog post that the claim that “Facebook conducts research and then systematically and intentionally ignores it if the results are not practical for the business” was incorrect. “[W]We fundamentally reject this distortion of our work and the challenge to the motivations of the company.
The the Wall Street newspaper did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Saturday.