SAN FRANCISCO, (AFP):- Facebook announced over $9 billion in quarterly profits on Monday, hours after a US news collective published a deluge of withering reports arguing the company prioritizes its growth over people’s safety.
The social media giant has been battling a fresh crisis since former employee Frances Haugen leaked reams of internal studies showing executives knew of their sites’ potential for harm, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.
Facebook released results showing its profit in the recently-ended quarter grew to over $9 billion — a 17% increase — and its ranks of users increased to 2.91 billion.
Hours earlier, new reports blamed CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his platform bending to state censors in Vietnam, noted Facebook allowed hate speech to flourish internationally due to linguistic shortcomings and said it knew its algorithm fueled toxic polarization online.
“These damning documents underscore that Facebook leadership chronically ignored serious internal alarms, choosing to put profits over people,” US Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Big Tech critic, said in a statement.
News organizations like The New York Times, The Washington Post and Wired were among those that have now received access to the set of internal Facebook documents that Haugen originally leaked to US authorities and which were the basis of a damning Wall Street Journal series.
Facebook has assailed the reporting as the selective publication of some of its mountain of internal studies, aimed at casting the social network used by billions of people in a dark and inaccurate light.
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