After a series of articles in The Wall Street Journal, last week revealed just how far Facebook has gone to prioritize revenues over the safety and health of its billions of users, this organization spent several days on its defense. For those who have been paying attention to the social-networking behemoth over the last few years, this is nothing new. Major news sites publish troubling examples concerning Facebook and the business’ general behavior, sparking a whirlwind of outrage and threats from lawmakers to regulate the firm and bring its top executives before Congress. When Facebook is confronted with this, the firm offers a half-hearted apology, but not before accusing leakers, who in this instance were Facebook workers. Because of its high level of involvement, the most contentious content appears in so several news feeds, investigations revealed how Facebook has consistently failed to adequately address important flaws that its employees have identified internally. Allegations saying that Facebook is “killing people” with false information about COVID-19 and concerned vaccines came two months after President Joe Biden stated the corporation was “killing individuals” with incorrect information during the 2020 presidential election.
The issues raised by the Wall Street Journal are in line with criticisms leveled at Facebook for some time now, namely that the company’s executives are preoccupied with revenue growth and engagement. According to one report, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was named by an employee, who claimed that a tweak the firm could make to minimize the algorithmic boost provided to dangerous content that drew in large numbers of users. In response, Zuckerberg told the employee that if the plan had a significant impact on how people interacted with one another, he’d reject it. In a second article, the Wall Street Journal detailed how Facebook has disregarded or brushed over the mental health concerns produced by Instagram, particularly for adolescent girls. Facebook was made aware of the concerns as a result of the findings of its investigation. Instead of making enhancements, the firm is developing an ‘Instagram for children under the age of 13. Facebook experimented with masking Instagram likes as a potential remedy. Facebook tried out the notion and discovered that nothing improved as a result of it. However, Instagram decided to make hiding likes an option for users since the press and parents would see it as a strong sign that Instagram is concerned about its users. According to another story published in the Journal, Facebook rarely resolves difficulties in markets outside the United States because it lacks adequate staff who speak the local language or dialects necessary to detect discrepancies. As a result, the site has sections where anti-vaccine myths and other lies, as well as conspiracy theories, are prevalent.
An inability to hire the proper expertise is a lousy excuse for a USD 1 trillion firm that generated USD 86 billion in profits and roughly $30 billion in revenue last year. It was Facebook’s turn to defend itself, as it usually does. The corporation accused the Journal of misrepresenting its conduct and alleging outrageously dishonest intentions on the part of its officials and workers. This is a global platform, and we take our responsibilities as operators seriously,” Clegg wrote in response to reports. “We take it seriously, and we don’t fear examination or criticism.” However, we vehemently deny this slanderous portrayal of our work and the insinuation that the corporation is hiding something.” As the Journal’s correspondents have pointed out, Clegg did not contradict any specific facts. If history is any indicator, we shouldn’t expect any major adjustments from Facebook as long as its investors continue to buy stock and authorities fail to act appropriately.