Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs, refuted the claims made by the recent reports in the WSJ. These reports claim many things by quoting recent Facebook leaks. Reports claimed that Facebook knew Instagram was harmful to a teen girl’s mental health but nothing about it. In a company blog post, Clegg said: “These are serious and complex issues, and it is legitimate for us to be held to account for how we deal with them.”
Another report claims the company exempts celebrities/VIPs from Facebook’s standard moderation rules. You can read all the Facebook files here. According to Clegg, these reports contained “deliberate mischaracterizations” and “conferred egregiously false motives.” Another case involved Mark Zuckerberg’s initiative to promote COVID-19 vaccines, which ended up drawing more anti-vax activists to the platform.
The report also claimed the company changed its algorithm to improve user engagement but made users angrier instead. Another leak showed employees’ concerns about how their platforms may be used by human traffickers and drug cartels. Employees sent alerts to their bosses about organ selling, pornography, violence against ethnic minorities, and government action against political dissent. The Facebook leaks also show the company’s response, which is inadequate or nothing at all in many instances.
At the heart of this series is an allegation that is just plain false: that Facebook conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company.Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs
Congress launched an investigation following a report made by WSJ that the company knew Instagram could be harmful to teenage girls. Clegg disputed the claims by saying the statements were made by cherry-picking selective quotes from Facebook leaks. He further went on to defend the company’s handling of posts about coronavirus vaccine information. He finishes off by saying, “We fundamentally reject this mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.”