Mark Zuckerberg posted a staunch protection of his firm in a word to Fb staffers, saying that latest claims by an ex-employee concerning the social community’s unfavorable results on society “don’t make any sense.”

On Tuesday, a former Fb product supervisor named Frances Haugen testified earlier than Congress a few trove of inside paperwork she gave to The Wall Avenue Journal. The main target of the listening to was on Fb’s inside analysis that confirmed Instagram can have a unfavorable impact on younger individuals, however Haugen took the chance to additionally assault the corporate’s enterprise mannequin and Information Feed algorithm. One among her principal arguments was that Fb’s enterprise of promoting adverts primarily based on engagement leads it to maintain customers on the service in any respect prices, even when it is aware of that the content material they’re partaking with is dangerous.

“The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical,” Zuckerberg mentioned within the memo, which he additionally posted on his public Facebook page. “We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content. And I don’t know any tech company that sets out to build products that make people angry or depressed. The moral, business and product incentives all point in the opposite direction.”

Zuckerberg has been noticeably silent on Haugen and the inner paperwork she gave to The Wall Avenue Journal till now. Sunday, the identical day she revealed her identification on 60 Minutes, he posted a video of him crusing, which lawmakers later pointed to as proof that he was avoiding scrutiny. The identical committee Haugen spoke to referred to as on Zuckerberg to testify, however he didn’t tackle the request wherever in his 1,300-word rebuttal. And as with Fb’s earlier statements, he didn’t tackle Haugen by title.

He touched on her declare to Congress {that a} 2018 Information Feed change to prioritize what the corporate calls “Meaningful Social Interactions” truly inspired the sharing of extra hateful and divisive content material. Echoing his statements on the time of the change, he mentioned it was performed to encourage the sharing of extra content material between family and friends, and that Fb knew it might result in decreased engagement. “Is that something a company focused on profits over people would do?”

Fb’s inside analysis about Instagram’s unfavorable results on teenagers—the principle matter of Tuesday’s listening to—has significantly stoked anger in direction of the corporate and led for calls to publish extra analysis for impartial specialists to judge. In his memo to workers, Zuckerberg mentioned the corporate would preserve doing analysis and work to make extra of it public.

The publish seems in full beneath:

Hey everybody: it’s been fairly per week, and I wished to share some ideas with all of you.

First, the SEV that took down all our companies yesterday was the worst outage we’ve had in years. We’ve spent the previous 24 hours debriefing how we are able to strengthen our methods towards this type of failure. This was additionally a reminder of how a lot our work issues to individuals. The deeper concern with an outage like this isn’t how many individuals swap to aggressive companies or how a lot cash we lose, however what it means for the individuals who depend on our companies to speak with family members, run their companies, or help their communities.

Second, now that right now’s testimony is over, I wished to mirror on the general public debate we’re in. I’m certain a lot of you might have discovered the latest protection onerous to learn as a result of it simply doesn’t mirror the corporate we all know. We care deeply about points like security, well-being and psychological well being. It’s tough to see protection that misrepresents our work and our motives. On the most simple stage, I believe most of us simply don’t acknowledge the false image of the corporate that’s being painted.

Lots of the claims don’t make any sense. If we wished to disregard analysis, why would we create an industry-leading analysis program to grasp these vital points within the first place? If we didn’t care about combating dangerous content material, then why would we make use of so many extra individuals devoted to this than every other firm in our area — even ones bigger than us? If we wished to cover our outcomes, why would we’ve got established an industry-leading customary for transparency and reporting on what we’re doing? And if social media had been as chargeable for polarizing society as some individuals declare, then why are we seeing polarization improve within the US whereas it stays flat or declines in lots of international locations with simply as heavy use of social media world wide?

On the coronary heart of those accusations is this concept that we prioritize revenue over security and well-being. That’s simply not true. For instance, one transfer that has been referred to as into query is once we launched the Significant Social Interactions change to Information Feed. This variation confirmed fewer viral movies and extra content material from family and friends — which we did understanding it might imply individuals spent much less time on Fb, however that analysis advised it was the precise factor for individuals’s well-being. Is that one thing an organization targeted on earnings over individuals would do?

The argument that we intentionally push content material that makes individuals offended for revenue is deeply illogical. We make cash from adverts, and advertisers constantly inform us they don’t need their adverts subsequent to dangerous or offended content material. And I don’t know any tech firm that units out to construct merchandise that make individuals offended or depressed. The ethical, enterprise and product incentives all level in the wrong way.

However of every thing printed, I’m significantly targeted on the questions raised about our work with youngsters. I’ve spent a whole lot of time reflecting on the sorts of experiences I need my youngsters and others to have on-line, and it’s essential to me that every thing we construct is protected and good for youths.

The fact is that younger individuals use expertise. Take into consideration what number of school-age youngsters have telephones. Quite than ignoring this, expertise corporations ought to construct experiences that meet their wants whereas additionally retaining them protected. We’re deeply dedicated to doing industry-leading work on this space. instance of this work is Messenger Youngsters, which is widely known as higher and safer than options.

We’ve additionally labored on bringing this type of age-appropriate expertise with parental controls for Instagram too. However given all of the questions on whether or not this is able to truly be higher for youths, we’ve paused that undertaking to take extra time to have interaction with specialists and ensure something we do could be useful.

Like a lot of you, I discovered it tough to learn the mischaracterization of the analysis into how Instagram impacts younger individuals. As we wrote in our Newsroom publish explaining this: “The research actually demonstrated that many teens we heard from feel that using Instagram helps them when they are struggling with the kinds of hard moments and issues teenagers have always faced. In fact, in 11 of 12 areas on the slide referenced by the Journal — including serious areas like loneliness, anxiety, sadness and eating issues — more teenage girls who said they struggled with that issue also said Instagram made those difficult times better rather than worse.”

However relating to younger individuals’s well being or well-being, each unfavorable expertise issues. It’s extremely unhappy to consider a teen in a second of misery who, as an alternative of being comforted, has their expertise made worse. We have now labored for years on industry-leading efforts to assist individuals in these moments and I’m pleased with the work we’ve performed. We consistently use our analysis to enhance this work additional.

Much like balancing different social points, I don’t imagine personal corporations ought to make the entire selections on their very own. That’s why we’ve got advocated for up to date web laws for a number of years now. I’ve testified in Congress a number of occasions and requested them to replace these laws. I’ve written op-eds outlining the areas of regulation we predict are most vital associated to elections, dangerous content material, privateness, and competitors.

We’re dedicated to doing the perfect work we are able to, however at some stage the precise physique to evaluate tradeoffs between social equities is our democratically elected Congress. For instance, what’s the proper age for teenagers to have the ability to use web companies? How ought to web companies confirm individuals’s ages? And the way ought to corporations stability teenagers’ privateness whereas giving dad and mom visibility into their exercise?

If we’re going to have an knowledgeable dialog concerning the results of social media on younger individuals, it’s vital to begin with a full image. We’re dedicated to doing extra analysis ourselves and making extra analysis publicly obtainable.

That mentioned, I’m apprehensive concerning the incentives which can be being set right here. We have now an industry-leading analysis program in order that we are able to establish vital points and work on them. It’s disheartening to see that work taken out of context and used to assemble a false narrative that we don’t care. If we assault organizations making an effort to review their impression on the world, we’re successfully sending the message that it’s safer not to take a look at all, in case you discover one thing that could possibly be held towards you. That’s the conclusion different corporations appear to have reached, and I believe that results in a spot that might be far worse for society. Though it is perhaps simpler for us to comply with that path, we’re going to maintain doing analysis as a result of it’s the precise factor to do.

I do know it’s irritating to see the great work we do get mischaracterized, particularly for these of you who’re making vital contributions throughout security, integrity, analysis and product. However I imagine that over the long run if we preserve making an attempt to do what’s proper and delivering experiences that enhance individuals’s lives, it is going to be higher for our group and our enterprise. I’ve requested leaders throughout the corporate to do deep dives on our work throughout many areas over the subsequent few days so you’ll be able to see every thing that we’re doing to get there.

After I mirror on our work, I take into consideration the true impression we’ve got on the world — the individuals who can now keep in contact with their family members, create alternatives to help themselves, and discover group. Because of this billions of individuals love our merchandise. I’m pleased with every thing we do to maintain constructing the perfect social merchandise on this planet and grateful to all of you for the work you do right here daily.


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