New York (Trends Wide Business) – A senior Facebook executive said Sunday on Trends Wide’s “Reliable Sources” that the company will never be able to control all of the content on its site and that it could be open to regulation as lawmakers continue to crack down on the tech giant.
Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, defended himself after last week the Wall Street Journal’s damning investigation, based on internal documents, found that the company was aware of problems on its platforms. The whistleblower who leaked the documents will appear tonight on “60 Minutes,” where he will reveal his identity before testifying before a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday.
In its introduction to the eight-part investigation, The Wall Street Journal wrote: “Time and time again, the documents show, Facebook researchers have identified the harmful effects of the platform. Time and again, despite the audiences. Congress, its own promises, and numerous media exposures, the company didn’t fix. “
The documents obtained by the outlet “offer perhaps the clearest picture yet of the extent to which Facebook’s problems are known within the company, right down to the CEO himself.”
“There is no perfection in social media as much as in any other area of life,” Clegg told Trends Wide’s senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. “And then what we have to do is address that.”
Teens who already have low self-esteem go on social media and start comparing themselves to others, Clegg said, and Facebook can’t control the “basic human bias” of the comparison.
“I don’t think it’s intuitively surprising that if you don’t feel good about yourself anymore, going on social media can make you feel a little worse,” Clegg said. In the wake of the WSJ reports, Clegg said Facebook will introduce parental controls and tools that are designed to steer teens away from certain content.
Controlling the fire
Stelter then asked Clegg why Facebook wasn’t just publishing the internal investigation itself, rather than being put in the position that a whistleblower leaked the documents.
The question of whether Facebook “deliberately swept [la investigación] Under the rug you literally have everything backwards, “Clegg said. He added:” If we don’t want to address those questions, we wouldn’t commission the investigation in the first place. We do it precisely so that we can work on the minority of cases where people are not having a good experience on our platforms. “
He added that Facebook publishes thousands of peer-reviewed research and confirmed that the company will continue to investigate.
But Clegg acknowledged that Facebook has faced mounting criticism for not being able to control what it has created.
“We are never going to be absolutely on top of this 100% of the time, because this is a spontaneous, instantaneous form of communication,” Clegg said. “There is a big difference between doing a peer-reviewed exercise in cooperation with other scholars and preparing articles internally to provoke and inform internal discussion.”
A “ridiculous” accusation according to Facebook
Facebook claimed to be successful in the second quarter of 2021 by reducing the prevalence of hate speech on its platform for three consecutive quarters. But The New York Times reported that the Journal whistleblower will soon publicly accuse Facebook of relaxing its security safeguards for the 2020 elections too soon, allowing misinformation and groups to gather on the website, some of which broke in. at the Capitol on January 6.
Clegg called this claim “ridiculous” and said that Facebook was not responsible for what happened that day.
“The responsibility for the violence of January 6 falls squarely on the people who inflicted the violence and those who encouraged them, including former President Trump,” Clegg said.
Clegg acknowledged that regulating its platform could be “really helpful” if it relaxed privacy and data protection rules, which could allow outside Facebook researchers to gain access to sensitive data.
Before the 60 Minutes interview, Facebook was playing the offensive, downplaying claims that the company is the cause of political and social polarization in the US In a statement two weeks ago, Clegg claimed that WSJ did ” deliberate mischaracterizations “in his research series.
“None of Facebook’s defenses cited a single factual error in our reports,” said a statement from The Journal. The news outlet said it has asked Facebook to publish the internal investigation it reported on, which Clegg did not confirm whether it would.
Clegg’s responses and the occasional yelling led Stelter to say that “a part of me feels like I’m interviewing the head of a tobacco company right now.” Clegg responded that the comparison is “deeply false.”
“There has to be a reason why a third of the world’s population enjoys using these apps,” Clegg said.