Oct 5, 2021 - Technology

Zuckerberg rebuts Facebook whistleblower testimony

A man in a suit and tie speaking, seen on a tablet device placed on a table in a darkened room.

Mark Zuckerberg speaks virtually during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing in March, as seen on a laptop. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to his own platform to reject claims made by a former employee in testimony before Congress on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen urged Congress earlier Tuesday to regulate the tech giant, accusing Facebook of putting profit before user well-being.

  • Facebook also took volleys of criticism from senators at a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing last week on its research into Instagram's impact on young girls.

What he's saying: The Facebook founder insisted in the post, which he said was previously shared within the organization, that Haugen's testimony "doesn't reflect the company we know."

  • "We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health," he continued. "It's difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives."

Of note: Zuckerberg said the notion "that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being" at the heart of Haugen's testimony is "just not true."

  • He pointed to a major change to Facebook's News Feed to "show fewer viral videos and more content from friends and family," and said Facebook did this "knowing it would mean people spent less time on Facebook, but that research suggested it was the right thing for people's well-being."
  • Zuckerberg suggested the company welcomed oversight and "advocated for updated internet regulations for several years now."
"If we wanted to ignore research, why would we create an industry-leading research program to understand these important issues in the first place? ... If we wanted to hide our results, why would we have established an industry-leading standard for transparency and reporting on what we're doing?"
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