Facebook criticized a series of Wall Street Journal stories about its platform on Saturday, calling them “deliberate mischaracterizations” that “conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, despite Facebook researchers detected “the platform’s negative consequences,” the firm neglected to remedy them, citing a study of internal corporate records that included research reports, online employee chats, and draughts of presentations to senior management.
According to the Wall Street Journal articles, Facebook exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules, downplayed the negative effects of its Instagram app on young users, made algorithm changes that made the platform “angrier,” and responded poorly to employee concerns about how the platform is used by human traffickers in developing countries.
Facebook’s vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg, writing in a blog post, said the Wall Street Journal’s stories “contained deliberate mischaracterisations of what we are trying to do, and conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”
Clegg called “just plain false” an allegation that “Facebook conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company.”
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Facebook, Clegg said, understands the “significant responsibility that comes with operating a global platform” and takes it seriously, but “we fundamentally reject this mischaracterisation of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.”