Facebook Says WSJ Claims Are ‘Misinterpretations’, Give ‘False Motives’


(Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Saturday criticized a series of Wall Street Journal articles on the company’s social media platform as containing “deliberate misinterpretations” and said the articles “conferred patently false motives to executives and employees of Facebook “.

The Wall Street Journal, citing a review of internal company documents that included research reports, online discussions with employees and draft presentations to senior management, said that although Facebook researchers identified “the adverse effects of the platform”, the company failed to correct them.

Wall Street Journal articles say Facebook has exempted high-level users from all or part of its rules, minimized negative effects on young users of its Instagram app, made changes to its algorithm that made it flat -form “more angry” and had a poor response to alarms raised by employees about the use of the platform in developing countries by human traffickers.

Nick Clegg, Facebook vice president of global affairs, writing in a blog post https://about.fb.com/news/2021/09/what-the-wall-street-journal-got-wrong, said the Wall Street Journal stories “contained deliberately misinterpretations of what we are trying to do and imparted patently false motives to the management and employees of Facebook.”

Clegg called an allegation that “Facebook conducts research and then systematically and willfully ignores it if the results are inconvenient for the business” as “simply false”.

Facebook, said Clegg, understands the “significant responsibility that comes with operating a global platform” and takes it seriously, but “we fundamentally reject this mischaracterization of our work and challenging the motives of the company. “.

Clegg defended Facebook’s handling of COVID-19 vaccine posts and said the “intersection between social media and wellness” remains an evolving issue in the research community.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bangalore; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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