Zuckerberg denies that Facebook prioritizes profits over user safety

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

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Tuesday, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg finally addressed the continuation of whistleblower Frances Hausen’s claim, denying that the social media company prioritizes its profits over the safety of its users.

“At the heart of this complaint is the notion that we prioritize profit over security and welfare,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook profile. “That’s not right.”

Zuckerberg’s comments come after a nearly month-long report in the Wall Street Journal that relied on internal Facebook research for the publication of Hausen, who left the social media company in May. The stories highlight numerous issues with Facebook’s services that companies are aware of but they ignore or don’t solve. This includes research that shows that Facebook is aware that Instagram is harmful to adolescents’ mental health.

“Of all the things that have been published, I’m focusing on the questions that have been raised about our work with children in particular,” Zuckerberg said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with the kind of experience I want for my kids and others online and it’s very important to me that what we create is safe and good for kids.”

Zuckerberg’s post comes after Hausen spent Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill to testify in front of senators on both sides of the problems that social media companies create for society.

“A lot of claims don’t make sense,” Zuckerberg said, noting Hausen. Zuckerberg added that “the argument that we deliberately impose content that irritates people for profit is deeply unreasonable.”

Zuckerberg called on Congress to update Internet rules that would allow teens to use Internet services, how technology companies would verify users’ ages, and how companies would balance balancing children’s privacy when their children are visible in online activities.

“Like balancing on other social issues, I don’t believe that private companies should make all the decisions themselves,” he wrote. “That’s why we’ve been advocating for updated Internet regulations for several years.”

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