After a tumultuous week swimming in allegations from a whistleblower, Facebook on Sunday, Oct. 10, promised changes.
“We will, of course, seek to make ourselves ever more transparent so people can hold us to account,” said Facebook top executive Nick Clegg in an appearance on ABC “This Week.”
Last week, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook manager, stood in front of the Senate and disclosed that the social media giant had ignored an internal probe report which highlighted grave issues of how it seeks profits.
Haugen testified that the report discovered how harmful content and user hooking strategies could negatively impact people, even young children.
“The result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more threats and more combat,” Haugen said.
She also said Facebook left the team monitoring espionage and terrorism understaffed despite traces of foreign spies were detected. She also recounted instances of authoritarian governments facilitating from the platforms to conduct human rights abuses.
“The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world,” she said on CBS News’ 60 Minutes.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied Ms. Haugen’s allegations.
“At the most basic level, I think most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted,” Zuckerberg said, as reported by ABC News.
On Sunday, Clegg revealed that the company was forming up a new oversight board in light of Haugen’s scathing testimony.
“We understand that with success comes responsibility, comes criticism, comes scrutiny, comes responsibility, and that’s why we’re the first Silicon Valley company to set up an independent oversight board that independently adjudicates on these difficult content decisions,” he said.
He noted that there would be new policies and tools to minimize the risk of addiction from underage users, including advising them to stop using the platforms temporarily.
“We’re also going to introduce new tools, what we call ‘take a break,’ to really kind of urge teens to take a break from using Instagram if they appear to be doing so, you know, for long periods of time,” Clegg told the news agency.
Clegg also assured that Facebook would put more effort into giving users more power over their content, recognizing that people want to see “more friends, less politics.”
The recent fiasco has left out Facebook’s treatment of political information based on parties. The tyrant has been accused of favoring Democratic content over Republican posts.