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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?"

Go deeper

Facebook's pivotal week

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're battening down the hatches at Facebook headquarters this week as the company faces a trifecta of tumult: a continuing wave of negative press coverage fueled by document leaks, a critical earnings report Monday and a reported name change looming.

The big picture: All this is unfolding as Mark Zuckerberg tries to transform Facebook from a social network into the prime mover behind a new "metaverse" of VR- and AR-driven remote work and play.

Oct 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Facebook stories fill newsfeeds

Photo: John Minchillo/Associated Press

A gusher of Facebook stories hit the web Friday night and will cascade into next week, as a consortium of at least 17 news organizations unfurl a series branded "The Facebook Papers," based on documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen.

Driving the news: The consortium's plan was for the stories to begin Monday. But one outlet after another jumped the gun last evening.

Oct 24, 2021 - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.