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Facebook calls Wall Street Journal reports “deliberate mischaracterizations”

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Last week, Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook’s content moderation fails to take strict action against politicians and celebrities who violate the platform’s rules. It also noted how Instagram impacts teenage girls’ mental health. The newspaper added that human traffickers and drug cartels exploited Facebook through its growth in developing countries.

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In a response to the articles, Facebook’s head of global affairs Nick Clegg called the reports “deliberate mischaracterizations” of the work the company does.

In a blog post, Clegg agreed that it is legitimate to hold Facebook accountable for issues such as vaccine misinformation and the well-being of teens. However, he added the allegations that Facebook conducts research, and then systematically and wilfully ignores them if the findings are inconvenient to the company are “just plain false”.

The reports cherry-picked selective quotes from individual pieces of leaked material in a way that presents complex and nuanced issues as if there is only ever one right answer, Clegg said.

He further explained that not acting on every idea that a researcher raises does not mean that Facebook is not considering improvements.

Clegg points out that research on the impact social media on people is still relatively nascent and evolving, and social media itself is changing rapidly. Facebook carries on research and relies on expert input to “hold up a mirror to ourselves and ask the difficult questions about how people interact at scale with social media”.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 5:19:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/facebook-calls-wall-street-journal-reports-deliberate-mischaracterizations/article36582110.ece

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