"A false picture" – Mark Zuckerberg hits out at negative Facebook press
"I believe large organisations should be scrutinised and I'd much rather live in a society where they are than one where they can't be."
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at the negative press surrounding his company, stating that claims against the social media giant are painting a "false picture" of its culture and practices.
On Monday, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared before MPs in Westminster to deliver damning testimony relating to the company's approach to online safety.
Haugen, who previously served as a product manager on Facebook's civic misinformation team, said that the platform's algorithms are designed to fuel episodes of violent unrest around the world.
Asked if Facebook was "making hate worse", Haugen responded:
"Unquestionably, it is making hate worse."
Additionally, a leaked 2019 memo seen by the Guardian purports that Facebook has admitted that parts of its site are "hardwired" for spreading misinformation and divisive content.
“We also have compelling evidence that our core product mechanics, such as vitality, recommendations, and optimising for engagement, are a significant part of why these types of speech flourish on the platform," said the memo.
Responding to the negative press on Facebook's latest earnings call – which revealed that the company has earned over $9 billion between July and September – Zuckerberg took aim at those criticising his business.
"I believe large organisations should be scrutinised and I'd much rather live in a society where they are than one where they can't be," he said.
"Good faith criticism helps us get better. But my view is that what we're seeing is a coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company."
Highlighting the company's "open culture", Zuckerberg insisted that Facebook is doing all it can to ensure online safety and privacy for the user.
"It makes a good soundbite to say that we don't solve these impossible tradeoffs because we're just focused on making money, but the reality is these questions are not primarily about our business, but about balancing difficult social values," he said.
"And I've repeatedly called for regulation to provide clarity because I don't think companies should be making so many of these decisions ourselves."