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Facebook denies reports of ignoring research

Facebook has denied reports that it "wilfully" ignores internal findings if the results are "inconvenient for the company".

A series of articles published by the Wall Street Journal last week claimed that the social media giant knew more about the negative impact of its products than it had claimed publically.

The reporting included revelations that Facebook had concluded that Instagram has a negative impact on the well-being of teenage girls by exacerbating body issues.

The former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the head of Facebook's global affairs team, hit back at the claims.

He said: "These are serious and complex issues, and it is absolutely legitimate for us to be held to account for how we deal with them."

Clegg then added: "At the heart of this series is an allegation that is just plain false: that Facebook conducts research and then systematically and wilfully ignores it if the findings are inconvenient for the company.

"This impugns the motives and hard work of thousands of researchers, policy experts and engineers at Facebook who strive to improve the quality of our products, and to understand their wider (positive and negative) impact.

"It’s a claim which could only be made by cherry-picking 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."

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