Facebook Exec on Defense, Says Wall Street Journal Series Mischaracterizes Platform

September 20th, 2021 5:02 PM

Facebook criticized The Wall Street Journal after it conducted a deep-dive investigation into the platform and some of its practices.

Nick Clegg, the Vice President of Global Affairs at Facebook, said the The Journal deliberately mischaracterized the social media company.

“The @WSJ series raises serious & complex issues,” he tweeted with a link to a statement from Facebook. “It's absolutely legitimate for Facebook to be held to account. But it contains deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do & confers egregiously false motives to our leadership & employees.”

Clegg disputed the The Journal ’s conclusion that Facebook willfully ignores findings that are inconvenient for the company: 

“Facebook understands the significant responsibility that comes with operating a global platform. We take it seriously, and we don’t shy away from scrutiny and criticism. But we fundamentally reject this mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives. I wish there were easy answers to these issues, and that choices we might make wouldn’t come with difficult trade-offs. That is not the world we live in. We will continue to invest in research into these serious and complex issues. We will continue to ask ourselves the hard questions. And we will continue to improve our products and services as a result.”

The Journal criticized Facebook for its flawed practices that “cause harm.”

“Facebook Inc. knows, in acute detail, that its platforms are riddled with flaws that cause harm, often in ways only the company fully understands,” The Journal noted in its investigation report.

“Time and again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects,” The Journal continued. “Time and again, despite congressional hearings, its own pledges and numerous media exposés, the company didn’t fix them. The documents offer perhaps the clearest picture thus far of how broadly Facebook’s problems are known inside the company, up to the chief executive himself.”

The investigation reached several findings, one notable one includes its finding that Instagram is “toxic” to teenage girls. Other findings include Facebook’s involvement in combating COVID “misinformation” and pressing the vaccine.

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