Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided for the first time to comment on the criticism of the company in the media. He said Facebook’s accusations that it puts profit over user safety “are simply not true.”
“It is difficult to see media coverage that distorts our work and our motives. At the most basic level, I think most of us are simply not aware of the false picture that is being painted about the company. “ – Zuckerberg said in a letter to company staff on Tuesday, which he also posted on the Web.
Zuckerberg’s letter came shortly after former Facebook employee Frances Haugen exposed the company and testified at a Senate hearing about her experience with the company. Internal research has shown that the company prioritizes profit when driving business units, she said. Hagen also appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday night, stating that Facebook regularly makes decisions that put business interests ahead of user safety.
“There was a conflict of interest between what was good for society and what was good for Facebook, – she said. – Facebook has chosen optimization for its own interests time and again, for example, to make more money. “
Zuckerberg wrote that he is worried about the story that Facebook does not care about the safety of children. Two Senate hearings in the past week focused on Facebook’s impact on teens and young children, with Hagen’s testimony taken into account.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal published an internal Facebook study from Hagen that shows Instagram worsened mental health problems for some of the teens using the app. By the way, the company has suspended a project to create a version of Instagram for children.
“When it comes to the health or well-being of young people, every negative experience counts, – wrote the CEO. – We’ve worked for years on industry-leading initiatives to help people in times like these, and I’m proud of the work we’ve done. ”
According to Zuckerberg, Facebook doesn’t benefit from content that makes people angry or depressed, or from making all product decisions to maximize user experience. He added that when the company changed its news feed algorithm in 2018 to show more messages from friends and family, it did so despite the realization that it would make people spend less time on the social network.