'Simply not accurate': Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denies whistleblower allegations
"The idea that we actively push material that irritates people for profit is profoundly irrational," Zuckerberg said in a message to Facebook workers.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded Tuesday to allegations that the social media behemoth fosters divisiveness, hurts children, and requires regulation, saying the claim that the business prioritizes profits over safety is "simply not accurate." "The idea that we actively push material that irritates people for profit is profoundly irrational," Zuckerberg said in a message to Facebook workers, which he later shared on his account, hours after a whistleblower testified before US Congress. "I'm not aware of any technology firm that sets out to create things that make people angry or depressed. Moral, commercial, and product motivations all point in the other direction," he added.
Meanwhile, US senators pounced on Facebook on Tuesday, accusing CEO Mark Zuckerberg of pushing for more profits while being careless about user safety, and they urged that authorities look into whistleblower claims that the social media firm hurts children and incites divides. Whistleblower Frances Haugen urged for openness during a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on how Facebook entices users to stay on the site longer, allowing them enough chance to advertise to them.
"As long as Facebook operates in the shadows, shielding its research from public scrutiny, it is unaccountable," said Haugen, a former employee turned whistleblower at the almost $1 trillion business. "The company's leadership understands how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but they refuse to make the required adjustments because they prioritise stratospheric profits over people. Action by Congress is required," Haugen said.
Anther big blow came to the social media company on Monday night when all its applications, including WhatsApp, Instagram stopped working. It has resulted in a $7 billion drop in Mark Zuckerberg's fortune in a matter of hours, pushing him down a rung on the list of the world's wealthiest people. The shares of the social media behemoth fell 4.9 per cent on Monday, adding to a decline of roughly 15 per cent since mid-September.
According to Bloomberg, the stock drop reduced Zuckerberg's worth down to $121.6 billion, placing him below Bill Gates to No. 5 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He's down from over $140 billion in a couple of weeks, according to the index.