A Facebook Inc executive said in an internal memo in 2016 that the social media company needed to pursue adding users above all else, BuzzFeed News reported on Thursday, prompting disavowals from the executive and Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.
The memo from Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook vice president, had not been previously reported as Facebook faces inquiries over how it handles personal information and the tactics the social media company has used to grow to 2.1 billion users.
Zuckerberg stood by Bosworth, who goes by the nickname “Boz,” while distancing himself from the memo’s contents. Bosworth confirmed the memo’s authenticity but in a statement he disavowed its message, saying its goal had been to encourage debate.
Facebook users, advertisers and investors have been in an uproar for months over a series of scandals, most recently privacy practices that allowed political consultancy Cambridge Analytica to obtain personal information on 50 million Facebook members. Zuckerberg is expected to testify at a hearing with U.S. lawmakers as soon as April.
“Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things. This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly. We’ve never believed the ends justify the means,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.
Bosworth wrote in the June 2016 memo that some “questionable” practices were all right if the result was connecting people.
“That’s why all the work we do in growth is justified. All the questionable contact importing practices. All the subtle language that helps people stay searchable by friends,” he wrote in the memo, which BuzzFeed published on its website.
He also urged fellow employees not to let potential negatives slow them down.
“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,” he wrote.
Bosworth said Thursday that he did not agree with the post today “and I didn’t agree with it even when I wrote it.
“Having a debate around hard topics like these is a critical part of our process and to do that effectively we have to be able to consider even bad ideas, if only to eliminate them,” Bosworth’s statement said.
(Reporting by David Ingram; editing by Grant McCool)
Trump-loving news network hires Russian propagandist linked to 2016 election interference: report
According to a report at the Daily Beast, a San Diego broadcasting operation that is vying with Fox News to catch the eye of Donald Trump is employing a reporter with links to Russian efforts to manipulate the 2016 election.
One America News Network (OANN), which was once home to Fox personality Tomi Lahren, now employs Kristian Brunovich Rouz, who joined the network and is still doing work with Russian government-run Sputnik.
According to the report, Sputnik "played a role in Russia’s 2016 election interference operation, according to an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community."
Ex-Bush aide says Trump falls back on racism because he’s losing his mind: ‘Take him to Walter Reed for a full medical’
MSNBC contributor Elise Jordan said President Donald Trump was stuck peddling racism because he's losing his mental faculties.
The former speechwriter and National Security Council staffer in George W. Bush's administration said Trump's attack on four Democratic congresswomen betrayed his inherent racism, and showed that he's mentally diminished.
"I think you're being a little bit too charitable regarding Donald Trump having an actual strategy in the first place," Jordan told "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough. "I think that this is who he is -- he's racist."
"You have seen it, you know, his entire career," she continued, "whether it's calling for five young black men who are innocent to be executed. you see it in his comments consistently throughout the course of his campaign wanting to ban an entire religion from entering the country, and just this week the horrible remarks that, you know, an elected official -- elected by her fellow countrymen and women should be grateful to be in the country and should leave otherwise."
Anger soars over vicious mob attack on Hong Kong protesters
Anger soared in Hong Kong on Monday over a vicious assault on pro-democracy protesters by suspected triad gangsters that left dozens wounded, a dramatic escalation of the political turmoil plaguing the Chinese city.
The financial hub's roiling unrest took a dark turn late Sunday when gangs of men -- most wearing white T-shirts and carrying bats, sticks and metal poles -- set upon anti-government demonstrators as they returned from another huge march earlier that day.AFP / John SAEKI Hong Kong conflict
Footage broadcast live on Facebook showed people screaming as the men beat multiple protesters and journalists in Yuen Long station and inside subway trains, leaving pools of blood on the floor.