William Langley in Hong Kong
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at a former employee-turned-whistleblower, saying her allegations that the social media group puts profit over customer wellbeing “don’t make sense” as the company battles a mounting public relations crisis.
Zuckerberg said on Tuesday that accusations that the company had deliberately ignored internal research that showed its platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, had a negative effect on the mental wellbeing of younger users were “just not true”.
“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?” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.
He also called a claim by Frances Haugen — a former Facebook product manager who testified at a Senate hearing on thousands of pages of internal research she leaked to the Wall Street Journal — that the platform deliberately pushes content that makes its users angry “deeply illogical”. Zuckerberg added that advertisers had repeatedly told the company that it did not want their content next to harmful posts.
The Facebook chief added that staff had spent the previous 24 hours debriefing on the extended outage that affected the company’s services for hours on Tuesday.