Past Comments From Newly Appointed Meta CTO Reveal His Stance On Harmful Content On Facebook

Leaked memo from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen give a little more insight into the mind of Meta's new CTO, Andrew Bosworth.

Bosworth's promotion to the second largest position within the company, stopping just short of CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was announced at the same time that Facebook (the company, not the platform) changed its name to Meta. Quite a few big changes all at once. However, much of these changes have occurred amidst controversy, with a major source of it being the leaked memos and internal forum discourse provided by ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen. Her work within Facebook as a moderator of political discourse put her in a prime position to view the worst of the social network's vitriol and hate speech. However, what she also noticed is that Facebook, and Meta as a whole, actively profited from such content, and thus mentally taxing content was given a leg up.

Bosworth's own notes on the matter, also leaked via Ms. Haugen, are interesting to say the least. His stance is that attempting to curb such online conversation is pointless, since humans as a society naturally crave conflict. Via a short essay, entitled Demand Side Problems published in August, 2020, he likened hate speech on the platform to the USA's war on drugs, stating that when the US government actively tried to stop narcotics from being sold, prices rose higher. Which, and this may be difficult for a man of his tenure to understand, does nothing to absolve either the USA or Facebook of its problems. Many employees apparently thought the same as well, since they replied to the post with their disagreements in tow.
Many employees pointed out that Facebook actively rewarded posts and pages for posting content that is controversial, therefore excusing the spread of such content to be human nature is perhaps stretching it. Of course, Facebook's no stranger to shifting around responsibility, as can easily be surmised from the US Capitol riots in 2021, where the platform flat out refused to accept its role in the incident for months. Andrew Bosworth's tenure as CTO has barely just begun, but if echoes of his 2020 comments still linger, we're gonna have a problem on our hands.

Meta's refusal to accept responsibility for its billions of users across multiple platforms is appalling. It's also very annoying when multi-millionaires actively justify their company's wrong practices as being necessary or unavoidable, even as they profit off of them. Best of luck to Mr. Bosworth with his tenure, and here's to hoping he adopts a more severe tone where his company's adverse effects on the community are concerned.

Creator: Bloomberg | Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

H/T: BI.

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