Facebook attempts to play the victim after WSJ revelations

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US social media giant Facebook has published its official response to reports in the Wall Street Journal calling into question the integrity of its moderation activities.

The press release is titled ‘What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong’ and is penned by former ace UK politician Nick Clegg, who used his brilliant leadership of the Liberal Democrat party as a springboard to land the top Facebook PR job. If nothing else, Clegg’s political life will have given him rich experience in handling adversity, so he’s usually volunteered to catch as much of the flak as possible at times like this.

The nature of the rebuttal is revealed early when he writes: “…these stories have contained deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do, and conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.” Note the complete lack of reference to any of the specifics of the reporting, preferring instead to confer motives onto the reporters and make an entry-level appeal to emotion.

He goes on to bleat about how upsetting this all is to Facebook employees and accuses the paper of “…cherry-picking selective quotes from individual pieces of leaked material in a way that presents complex and nuanced issues as if there is only ever one right answer.” Perish the thought. The underlying point that headline-chasing is reductive and blinkered is valid, but it’s still not much of a rebuttal.

“We will continue to ask ourselves the hard questions,” concludes Clegg, at the end of a piece essentially moaning about being asked hard questions by a third party. It should also be noted that there was no balancing press release titled ‘What the Wall Street Journal Got Right’. There probably was a degree of journalistic spin put on the material obtained by the WSJ but by refusing to engage with the substance of the reporting Facebook has just added to the impression that it has something to hide.

One comment

  1. Avatar Julie l Geel 20/09/2021 @ 7:38 pm

    Oh I think FaceBook has lots to hide!

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