After apologizing for this week’s outage, Mark Zuckerberg has claimed that Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen’s testimony does not “reflect the company we know.”
Haugen left Facebook back in May after 15 years with the company, what she took with her was copies of thousands of internal documents from the company. She says these documents show Facebook’s inaction and sometimes promotion of misinformation which end lead to the January 6th capitol riot.
“There are no similarly powerful companies that are as unilaterally controlled [as Facebook],” Haugen said while testifying at Congress on Tuesday. “The buck stops with Mark. There is no one currently holding Mark accountable but himself.”
Before testifying, Haugen revealed during a ’60 Minutes’ interview, a day before the company’s outage on Monday that the social media site’s algorithms has “systemic” problems. In addition, she says that Facebook has a willingness to allow “angry content” and misinformation to spread for its own profit margins.
“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?” Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to his employees. “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?”
In a follow-up to that statement in the aforementioned public apology post, Mark Zuckerberg says that he believes that a “false picture of the company is being painted.” Mark Zuckerberg denies that Facebook prioritizes profit over the safety and well-being of its userbase.
“Facebook’s mission is to connect people all around the world. When you have a system that you know can be hacked with anger, it’s easier to provoke people into anger. And publishers are saying, ‘Oh, if I do more angry, polarizing, divisive content, I get more money.’ Facebook has set up a system of incentives that is pulling people apart,” Haugen said.
“Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer,” she added, “people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money.”