Zuckerberg rejects claims that Fb prioritizes income over consumer security

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, DC, the United States, on Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg finally responded to the series of claims made by whistleblower Frances Haugen on Tuesday, denying that the social media company is putting its profits above the safety of its users.

“At the heart of these allegations is the idea that we put profit above safety and wellbeing,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook profile. “That’s just not true.”

Zuckerberg’s comments come after nearly a month of reports from the Wall Street Journal based on internal Facebook research made available for publication to Haugen, who left the social media company in May. The stories highlighted numerous issues in the Facebook services that the company is aware of but which are either ignored or not resolved. This includes research showing Facebook is aware that Instagram is damaging teenagers’ mental health.

“Of everything that has been published, I focus particularly on the questions that are raised about our work with children,” said Zuckerberg. “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what experiences my children and others should have online, and it is very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for children.”

Zuckerberg’s post comes after Haugen spent Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill testifying to senators on both sides of the aisle about the problems the social media company is creating for society.

Without referring to Haugen, Zuckerberg said that “many of the claims make no sense”. Zuckerberg also said, “The argument that we are deliberately distributing content that upsets people for profit is profoundly illogical.”

Zuckerberg also called on Congress to update internet regulations that specify what age teens can use internet services, how tech companies should check users ‘ages, and how companies balance children’s privacy and parents’ insight their children’s online activities should give.

“Similar to other social problems, I don’t believe that private companies should make all decisions alone,” he wrote. “That is why we have been campaigning for updated Internet regulations for several years.”

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