NewsWorldMark Zuckerberg posts response after whistleblower accuses Facebook's practices

Mark Zuckerberg posts response after whistleblower accuses Facebook’s practices

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The co-founder and boss of the Facebook group, Mark Zuckerberg, defended his company, Tuesday, October 5, facing the accusations of a whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who gave, before a committee of the Senate of the United States, an unprecedented testimony on the practices of the Californian group to tirelessly increase its attendance, at the expense of the safety and well-being of its users.

“At the heart of these accusations is the idea that we prioritize profits over safety and well-being. This is simply not true ”, said Mark Zuckerberg in a long post on his Facebook page.

“The argument that we deliberately put forward content that makes people angry, for profit, is completely illogical”, he wrote. “We make money with ads, and advertisers tell us all the time that they don’t want their ads alongside harmful or vehement content. And I don’t know of any tech company that sets out to develop products that make people angry or depressed ”, he added.

Read also Whistleblower accuses Facebook of “choosing profit over safety” of its users

Picking up many points from the testimony of the whistleblower who denounced Facebook’s indifference to studies showing the toxic influence of the group’s social networks on adolescents, Mr. Zuckerberg retorted: “If we wanted to ignore research, why would we create a cutting edge curriculum to understand these important issues? If we weren’t concerned with tackling harmful content, why would we hire so many dedicated people? “, he said, adding that the social network would continue to conduct research on its societal impact.

“He is not accountable to anyone”

During her hearing, Frances Haugen had specifically targeted the boss of the group. “There is no such powerful company that is controlled so unilaterally. So in the end, the responsibility rests with Mark Zuckerberg. And he’s not accountable to anyone. He is, in fact, the chief designer of the algorithms ”, assured the engineer.

Mme Haugen called on elected officials of the US Congress to act to further regulate the group with 3.5 billion customers. “Facebook is stuck in a spiral from which they cannot escape”, explained the IT engineer about the negative effects of her platforms, which the company is aware of. “They hide this information because they feel stuck. (…) They have to admit that they have done wrong, that they need help. This is called moral bankruptcy ”, she declared.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Facebook accused of inaction in the face of abuses created by its applications

“We still have time to act. But we have to do it now ”, urged the one who left Facebook in May after two years with the company.

” It’s time to act “

Regarding the version of Instagram for those under 13, a project officially suspended at the end of September, the engineer explained that she did not see Facebook give up. “They need to make sure the next generation is just as invested in Instagram as they are today. “

A Facebook spokesperson reacted on Twitter, pointing out that Frances Haugen had “Not worked on child protection [chez Facebook] or on Instagram (…) and has no direct knowledge of these topics from his work at Facebook ”.

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“We do not agree with her way of presenting the subjects on which she testified”, commented Lena Pietsch, spokesperson for Facebook. “But we agree on one thing: it’s time to create new rules for the Internet. (…) And rather than waiting for the industry to make societal changes, (…) it is time for Congress to act. “

Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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