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Zuckerberg denies claims Facebook putting profit over safety

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A former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen, 37, revealed her identity as she testified before US lawmakers saying that the social media giant fuels division, harms children and needs to be regulated. Zuckerberg’s statement comes a day after the company faced a more than six-hour-long blackout across platforms due to a “faulty configuration change”. Services on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were affected in one of the longest outages the company ever faced.

“The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical,” Zuckerberg posted a note to Facebook employees on his account.

“I don’t know any tech company that sets out to build products that make people angry or depressed. The moral, business and product incentives all point in the opposite direction,” he added.

Haugen appeared on “60 Minutes” Sunday night where she described how Facebook routinely made “disastrous” choices that put their business interests ahead of children, public safety, privacy and even democracy.

“Facebook over and over again chose to optimise for its own interests like making more money,” she told “60 Minutes”, as quoted by Bloomberg.

“When it comes to young people’s health or well-being, every negative experience matters. We have worked for years on industry-leading efforts to help people in these moments and I’m proud of the work we’ve done,” Zuckerberg contested.

Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth has fallen by more than $7 billion in a few hours, knocking him down a notch on the list of the world’s richest people, after a whistleblower came forward and outages took Facebook Inc.’s flagship products offline.

A selloff sent the social-media giant’s stock plummeting 4.9% on Monday, adding to a drop of about 15% since mid-September.

The stock slide on Monday sent Zuckerberg’s worth down to $121.6 billion, dropping him below Bill Gates to No. 5 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s down from almost $140 billion in a matter of weeks, according to the index.

– HINDUSTAN TIMES

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