Facebook officially responded last Saturday (18) to allegations made by a series of reports by The Wall Street Journal. In the stories, the company is accused of hiding and ignoring internal research results that proved Instagram’s negative effects on teenagers’ health.
The answer was written by the brand’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, and posted on the company’s blog. Overall, the text says the reports “contain deliberately false characterizations” and misunderstands the company’s role in dealing with its own users.
According to Clegg, the company does not ignore studies, but works hard and with several teams simultaneously that assess the positive and negative impact of the platforms. The stories reportedly used “carefully selected phrases from individual texts of leaked materials, so as to present complex and subtle problems as if there was only one right answer”.
“We would like the answers to be simple”
The company also argues that research on the impact of social media is still very recent and that each study has limitations, meaning that none of them are conclusive in their entirety or valid for a long period — which is why not all works generate a immediate response, as they force the adoption of multiple methods and data crossings.
“The fact that not every idea a researcher comes up with gets resolved doesn’t mean that Facebook teams aren’t continually considering a number of different improvements. At the same time, none of these issues can be resolved by tech companies alone, which is why we work in close partnership with researchers, regulators, policymakers and others,” says Facebook.
The company can now be investigated by the US Congress to verify any deliberate practices in the case. The Wall Street Journal has yet to come forward after the company’s response.