‘Of course we want to allow freedom of expression’
Facebook global head of safety Antigone Davis on Tuesday defended the company’s practices, claiming most people feel safe using the platform, while calling for more regulations to give users confidence in the company.
The social media giant is under fire on several fronts, with allegations That it intentionally exposes users to harmful content for greater engagement and profit.
“When you find something unsafe, do you decide, let’s take it off the platform, or is it the people who are also responsible for the revenue?” MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle asked.
“So I don’t make the decision personally, but it’s the safety and security team that decides,” Davis said. “Of course we want to allow freedom of expression, but one of the underlying principles behind the work we do is to ensure the safety and security of people. Most people actually feel quite safe and secure on our platform, and They’re coming back and using our platform because they feel safe and secure, and we’re doing a good job of getting that content out. But I think verification systems are what people want.”
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Ruhle countered that “many people feel safe smoking cigarettes” or not getting vaccinated.
“People don’t feel like wearing seat belts. They’re uncomfortable but they wear them because it saves them,” Ruhle said.
“And I think we’re really fundamentally aligned here, which is what we think is necessary,” she said. “We think regulation is important so we have someone outside of us who is validating our work.”
Davis called for specific rules on what data Facebook users can provide to independent researchers. She also said that, as a mother, she would not work on Facebook if she felt that social media was harmful to children.
The debate on Facebook cuts across issues of freedom of speech, access to government, what constitutes censorship, and who decides what is true or not. Criticism of Facebook is a rare issue that has united some elements of the left and right for different reasons, with the latter complaining about the censorship of conservatives, while some liberals wish they were more against hateful content. Take action.
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Davis appeared on MSNBC after 48 hours of stormy hours for the company. informer Francis Haugen revealed himself to be the leaker of private research on “60 Minutes”, which he termed as an expanse of hateful content and misinformation, and Facebook and Instagram faced a hour long interruption Monday dropped its stock.
Haugen testified before Congress on Tuesday, accusing Facebook of prioritizing profit over the well-being of its billions of users, exposing it to the purpose of inflammatory content. She suggested that Facebook’s algorithms be exempted from Section 230 protections, similar to legislation introduced by Democratic Reps Anna Eshu, Calif., and Tom Malinowski, NJ.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously called on lawmakers to make such regulatory calls, which he believes should not be extended to private companies.
“I just believe that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of the truth of everything people say online,” he said last year. “Private companies probably shouldn’t be doing this, especially as these platform companies shouldn’t be in a position to do so.”