The Facebook executive who will take over as the company’s Chief Technology Officer next year had argued in 2016 that Facebook’s goal should be to connect people even if ‘someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools,’ according to an internal memo.
Andrew Bosworth, tapped to replace longtime CTO Mike Schroepfer in 2022, had been discussing Facebook’s role in the world in a memo with other leaders when he commented that the company’s value to the world was so great, negative consequences should be overlooked.
‘The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good,’ Bosworth wrote.
‘Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools. And still we connect people.’
Facebook’s incoming CTO, Andrew Bosworth, had said in 2016 that the social media giant should do whatever it can to connect people, even if it leads to terrorist attacks
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, said he strongly disagreed with Bosworth in 2016, but now he tapped Bosworth to replace longtime CTO Mike Schroepfer, right
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has known Bosworth since their days at Harvard University, said at the time that he ‘disagreed strongly’ with Bosworth’s comments, the Telegraph reported.
Bosworth, who heads Facebook’s augments and virtual reality projects, said in 2018 that he made comment to encourage discussion about Facebook’s responsibilities and that it did not represent his views or those of the company, the Independent reported.
‘I don’t agree with the post today and I didn’t agree with it even when I wrote it’, Mr Bosworth said in a statement.
He added that he cared ‘deeply how our product affects people and I take very personally the responsibility I have to make that impact positive’.
Facebook has had to deal with it social media platform being used by terrorist and extremists since its inception.
According to its latest transparency report, Facebook has taken down 7.1 million terrorism posts from April to June, and about 6.2 million posts related to hate groups in the same time period.
The company said it finds about 99.7 per cent of the content atomically before it gets reported by users, the Telegraph reports.
Bosworth, who headed Facebook’s augmented and virtually reality projects plans to use the tech to establish Facebook’s metaverse. He is pictured at a conference in 2018
Facebook had announced Bosworth’s promotion on Wednesday, revealing that he would lead the company into its newest technological phase.
‘As our next CTO, Boz will continue leading Facebook Reality Labs and overseeing our work in augmented reality, virtual reality and more, and as part of this transition a few other groups will join Boz´s team as well,’ CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a message to employees that was posted on Facebook’s blog.
‘This is all foundational to our broader efforts helping to build the metaverse, and I’m excited about the future of this work under Boz´s leadership,’ he said, referring to the Silicon Valley idea of shared spaces that merge the digital and physical worlds and can be accessed through different devices.
Bozworth will lead Facebook’s attempts to blend virtual reality with its everyday services
Facebook’s goal is to create a virtual social media, with Bosworth leading the way
Facebook is under pressure from global regulators, lawmakers and civil society groups who have criticized it over abuses on its platform such as extremism and misinformation and want it to improve on a slew of issues including transparency, its content moderation and recommendation systems, and its approaches to user privacy and safety.
According to the documents leaked to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook had known for two years now that Instagram is toxic for young girls but continued to add beauty-editing filters to the app, despite six per cent of suicidal girls in America blaming it for their desire to kill themselves.
When Facebook researches first alerted the company of the issue in 2019, they said: ‘We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.’
‘Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.’
One message posted on an internal message board in March 2020 said the app revealed that 32 per cent of girls said Instagram made them feel worse about their bodies if they were already having insecurities.
About one in five said the app made them feel worse about themselves.
This is some of the research Facebook was shown about how Instagram is harming teens