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Mark Zuckerberg hits back at Facebook whistle-blower

Mark Zuckerberg has hit back at a Facebook whistle-blower, insisting many of her claims "don't make any sense".

The Facebook founder and chief executive has responded to a number of comments made by former employee Frances Haugen, who alleged this week that the company puts "astronomical profits before people" in testimony to the US Congress.

But Zuckerberg has responded, writing on the social networking site: "At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritise profit over safety and wellbeing. That’s just not true.

"The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical. We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content.

"And 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.

"Many of the claims don’t make any sense. If we wanted to ignore research, why would we create an industry-leading research programme to understand these important issues in the first place?

"But of everything published, I'm particularly focused on the questions raised about our work with kids. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on the kinds of experiences I want my kids and others to have online, and it's very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for kids."

He concluded: "When I reflect on our work, I think about the real impact we have on the world - the people who can now stay in touch with their loved ones, create opportunities to support themselves, and find community. This is why billions of people love our products. I'm proud of everything we do to keep building the best social products in the world and grateful to all of you for the work you do here every day."

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram were all affected by a near six-hour outage that began on Monday (10.04.21).

Commenting on the outage, Haugen, 37, said: "For more than five hours Facebook wasn’t used to deepen divides, destabilise democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies."

Haugen - who quit the company in May after working on the unit monitoring electoral interference - said in her opening testimony: "I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy.

"The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people."

Earlier this week, Zuckerberg apologised for the "disruption" after the company's social media networks went down.

He said in a social media post: "Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today - I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about."

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