Jeff Horwitz, a technology reporter at the Wall Street Journal, claimed in a recent interview that tech giant Facebook is blaming its own researchers for recent negative press relating to internal company studies.
Breitbart News has reported extensively on the “Facebook Files” series from the Wall Street Journal which made a number of damning claims about the tech giant based on a series of internal company documents.
The Wall Street Journal claimed that Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm saw a major change in 2018 that appeared to promote outrageous and negative content on the platform. When informed of this, top executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg were allegedly hesitant to solve the issue.
The internal documents also appear to reveal that the tech giant Apple threatened to remove Facebook from its App Store in 2019 following a report from BBC News that detailed the human trafficking taking place across the social media platform.
One of the most damning reports was titled “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show,” the Wall Street Journal claims that Facebook is aware that its photo-sharing app Instagram can have a negative effect on the body image of young women. In which the WSJ wrote:
“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” the researchers said in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to Facebook’s internal message board, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”
“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues.
“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said another slide. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”
Now, WSJ technology reporter Jeff Horwitz is alleging that Facebook is blaming its own researchers for the recent negative press. Speaking with NBC’s Meet the Press, Horwitz stated:
We have heard that they have taken pretty much all of their researchers and basically blamed them for this. It’s a very weird mentality over there, they have been kind of throwing these people under the bus, the people that they asked to understand the platform’s role in the world and that’s a very kind of aggressive thing for them.
I think that the memo that Nick Clegg [Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs and Communications] sent out internally is kind of remarkable. You are basically telling your own staff that your company cannot be blamed for the primary cause, that was the language, for polarization in America and that everyone should be proud to work there but nonetheless, this does seem like a couple of remarkable weeks for them internally.
Watch the interview at NBC News here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address email@example.com