Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the company after a whistleblower testified before Congress about the harm of the social media giant’s divisive content.
In a Facebook post late Tuesday, Zuckerberg called recent media coverage of the former Facebook employee’s claims “hard to read because it just doesn’t reflect the company we know.”
“We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health,” Zuckerberg wrote. “It’s difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives.”
Earlier Tuesday, Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, testified before a Senate subcommittee that the social networking giant puts “profits before people” and knows that its products “harm children, stoke division, weaken our democracy.”
Haugen backed her claims with tens of thousands of pages of internal Facebook research, which she previously leaked to The Wall Street Journal.
In her testimony, Haugen notably pointed to Facebook’s engagement-based ranking systems, which tend to boost content that elicits stronger reactions, including more extreme posts.
She urged Congress to regulate the massive social media company, saying it has “repeatedly misled the public about what its own research reveals about the safety of children… and its role in spreading divisive and extreme messages.”
Zuckerberg, in turn, said that the “idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being” is “just not true,” adding that the claim that Facebook “deliberately push[es] content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical” and that it was “very important” to him that “everything we build is safe and good for kids.”