Hours after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before Congress about how the social network poses a danger to children and democracy, Mark Zuckerberg took to the platform he built and posted a 1,300-word screed trying to undermine her.
His main argument was that Haugen was taking Facebook’s research on its impact on children — among the tens of thousands of pages of internal documents and research she took before she left the company — out of context. In essence, he argued she cannot be trusted to properly portray the company’s findings, claiming she painted a “false picture of the company.”
But despite employing many talented and diligent researchers, it’s Facebook’s top executive who cannot be trusted when it comes to sharing the work of those researchers with the public.
In August, Facebook () released a report about the most-viewed posts on its platform in the United States. Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity (yes, that’s a real job title at Facebook) said at the time the company had become “by far the most transparent platform on the internet.”
The report covered Facebook data for the second quarter of this year, and Facebook suggested it painted a rather rosy picture. “Many of the most-viewed pages focused on sharing content about pets, cooking, family,” Facebook said.
There was a catch. The research report focused on the second quarter of 2021 — but what about the first quarter? Had Facebook not gathered data and compiled a report for the first three months of 2021?