Zuckerberg rejects allegations from Facebook whistleblower

Released on 06.10. 2021

  • Frances Haugen, former Facebook employee and whistleblower, testifies during a hearing. Photo: Drew Angerer

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defends himself and his company against the allegations of a former employee. The allegations weigh heavily.

Menlo Park / Washington (dpa) – Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has rejected the accusation of a former employee that the online network puts profits above the well-being of its users.

“That’s just not true,” Zuckerberg wrote in an email to employees published on Tuesday. As an example, he cited a change that Facebook began a few years ago to show users more posts from friends and family instead of viral videos. It was the first time that Zuckerberg commented in detail on the whistleblower’s allegations and incriminating disclosures.

The Facebook founder defended the plan, an Instagram version for ten to twelve year olds to develop. “The reality is that young people are using technology,” he wrote. Instead of ignoring this, tech companies should develop services that meet their needs while keeping the environment safe, he argued.

Former Facebook manager Frances Haugen, who worked as a Whistleblower appears, had testified a few hours earlier at a hearing in the US Senate. There she called on politicians, among other things, to force the online network to be more transparent. “Facebook shapes our perception of the world through the selection of information we see.” So far, however, only the Internet company itself knows how to personalize the users’ newsfeed.

Facebook was aware of worrying studies

The 37 – year old worked for Facebook for around two years and previously at Google and the photo platform Pinterest. At the online network, she worked, among other things, on the defense against attempts to manipulate public opinion before elections. Haugen was a central source for a series of articles in the “Wall Street Journal”, which in the past few weeks brought increasing pressure to Facebook. The accusation that Facebook knew from internal studies that Instagram was damaging to the mental health of some teenagers – but did not take any consistent measures against it.

Zuckerberg criticized the Study results have been taken out of context. A “wrong narrative was constructed that we don’t care”.

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