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Facebook forced to defend allegations of profit before safety

Facebook Chief executive officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has rejected accusations that the social network prioritises profit over its users' safety.

This comes after former company product manager Frances Haugen told a congressional testimony that the social network was allegedly aware it inflicted harm on the mental health of teenagers. But it did not do much to prevent content promoting "hate and division."

"At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritise profit over safety and well-being. That's not true," Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook, adding that the platform cares "deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health."

Zuckerberg, on October 6, said that many of the accusations make no sense. He noted that if Facebook wanted to ignore harmful content, then its team would not create "an industry-leading research program to understand these important issues in the first place".

On October 5, a former Facebook employee had accused Mark Zuckerberg of pushing for higher profits while being cavalier about user safety.

Haugen, 37, had said that effective regulation of Facebook would need to start with transparency, including allowing "full access to data for research not directed by Facebook."
She further alleged: "The company's leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congressional action is needed. They won't solve this crisis without your help."


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