Facebook hits back at claims it is ‘destroying society’ and fuels ‘isolation’
Facebook has hit back against scientific researchers and tech industry insiders who have said the social media network is ‘destroying society’.
Facebook said that social media can be good for people’s well-being if they use the technology in a way that is active, such as messaging with friends, rather than passive, such as scrolling through a feed of other people’s posts.
It was the second time this week that Facebook had published such a rebuttal.
Online services such as Facebook and its Instagram unit, Twitter Inc, Snap Inc’s Snapchat and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube are under attack for their seemingly addictive nature and perceived promotion of anti-social behaviors.
A study in March by U.S. researchers found that using such services at least two hours daily was correlated with reporting feelings of social isolation.
A nonprofit organization called Time Well Spent, led by a former Google design ethicist, is pressuring tech companies to move away from products that try to hook people’s attention.
In its blog post, Facebook said those studies are “not the whole story.” It went on to cite other studies suggesting that the dangers of social media may be exaggerated, and that it has potential benefits if used correctly.
“We employ social psychologists, social scientists and sociologists, and we collaborate with top scholars to better understand well-being and work to make Facebook a place that contributes in a positive way,” said the blog post, written by Facebook Research Director David Ginsberg and Research Scientist Moira Burke.