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)
House Judiciary Committee considering vote to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress: report
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote to hold President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress, after a lengthy hearing on Wednesday in which Lewandowski aggressively attacked members of the committee and admitted that he routinely lies to media outlets.
This development comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told members of her caucus that she supports holding Lewandowski in contempt.
‘This person has to be very senior’: Ambassador McFaul breaks down two possible whistleblower motivations
America's former ambassador to Russia on Thursday broke down what we know about the whistleblower alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.
Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."
"In my understanding, have -- having worked closely with the intelligence community, when I was in the government -- nobody that I know would go to these steps unless there was something really serious. This is not about the inappropriate use of classified material," McFaul noted. "It’s something much bigger."
"We’re talking about someone who is at a senior enough level to have this level of access, who knows the rules and knows they can lose their job or worse," Melber noted.
Georgia substitute teacher fired for allegedly putting students on racist list of ‘angels’ and ‘devils’
On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that a substitute teacher at Awtrey Middle School in Cobb County, Georgia has been fired after children complained that he was branding "black children as devils and white children as angels."
Students took pictures of the note and sent it to their parents, causing outrage.
"A substitute teacher was fired after school administration was made aware that the substitute composed two lists, one titled 'angels' and the other titled 'devils,'" said one school administrator. "The names of black and white students appeared in both columns."