A top Facebook executive is claiming he was only being provocative when he wrote a 2016 memo titled ‘The Ugly’ that claimed harvesting personal data -- even if "it costs a life" -- was "justified".
Facebook Vice President of AR/VR, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth claims, "I don't agree with the post today and I didn't agree with it even when I wrote it."
"It was intended to be provocative," he added. “This was one of the most unpopular things I’ve ever written internally and the ensuing debate helped shape our tools for the better.”
"Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools," he acknowledged in the 2016 memo. "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."
"We connect people. Period. That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified," he claimed. "All the questionable contact importing practices."
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is now also disavowing the controversial admissions and echoing the claim that the memo was only meant to be provocative Gizmodo reports.
"Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things," Zuckerberg told Gizmodo. "This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly."
"We've never believed the ends justify the means," he claimed. "We recognise (sic) that connecting people isn't enough by itself."
Zuckerberg says Facebook "changed our whole mission and company focus" in 2017.