Fb says it’s spent over $13 billion on “safety and security” since 2016 and has 40,000 individuals devoted to the world, providing a glimpse at its operations after every week of leaks published by The Wall Street Journal. The corporate used the numbers for example of the way it’s addressed issues on Fb and Instagram, saying the Journal’s tales lacked “important context” about advanced points.
“In the past, we didn’t address safety and security challenges early enough in the product development process,” Fb said in a blog post at present. “But we have fundamentally changed that approach. Today, we embed teams focusing specifically on safety and security issues directly into product development teams, allowing us to address these issues during our product development process, not after it.”
The Journal alleged that Fb knew of significant issues like false COVID-19 information and detrimental emotional results on customers however delayed fixing them in concern of weakening engagement with its platforms. Fb government Nick Clegg issued a rebuttal over the weekend, accusing the paper of “deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do.”
A lot of Fb’s new response recasts allegations from the Journal in a extra constructive gentle — focusing not on whether or not it acted too late, however on the methods it in the end responded, like eradicating 20 million items of false COVID-19 and vaccination content material and blocking 3 billion pretend accounts within the first half of 2021.
If correct, the brand new security and safety figures do supply an replace on some earlier Fb numbers. The corporate has apparently quadrupled its employees in that space since 2017, when it employed 10,000 individuals and promised to double the quantity inside a 12 months. (The determine consists of outdoors contractors.)
In the meantime, the $13 billion quantity backs up a 2018 statement that Fb would commit “billions of dollars per year” to security and safety, understanding to a median of greater than $2 billion yearly. We don’t know the way that cash was distributed between 2016 and 2021, however Fb made high-profile guarantees about ramping up funding throughout 2017 and 2018, which noticed scrutiny over Fb’s position in election propaganda campaigns and the Cambridge Analytica privateness controversy — so it’s probably a whole lot of the spending got here from latest years.