Facebook exec under fire for an internal memo prioritizing company growth over user privacy

By Shehryar Ahmed on
March 31, 2018
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Andrew “Boz” Bozworth, the current Vice President of Virtual and Augmented Reality of Facebook, is reported to have written an internal memo detailing the outcome of the company’s growth-at-all-costs mentality. The memo, titled “Ugly truth” has been leaked to the media.

A Buzzfeed report has revealed the memo. The memo was circulated on June 28th, 2016. It contained the following passage:


“We connect people. Period. 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. All of the work we do to bring more communication in.”

“So we connect more people. That can be bad if they make it negative. Maybe it costs someone a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.”

This shows the unjust determination the social media network has to power its growth. Andrew has acknowledged that he himself issued this memo but it was solely meant for the creation of a debate within the company. He stressed that the memo was meant for Facebook employees exclusively.

Facebook was under fire those days because of a live stream that contained the shooting footage of a Chicago man.

In response to the story, Andrew tweeted, “The purpose of this [memo], like many others I have written internally, was to bring to the surface issues I felt deserved more discussion with the broader company.”

The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg commented that he’s aware of the memo and thinks that it is extremely wrong. He added, “We recognize that connecting people isn’t enough by itself. We also need to work to bring people closer together.”

 

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