Facebooks data collection practices and certain “questionable” tools are justified at any cost, according to a June 2016 internal memo titled “The Ugly” written by Facebook Vice President Andrew Bosworth and published by BuzzFeed late Thursday.
“We connect people. Period. Thats why all the work we do in growth is justified,” the memo says.
“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. The work we will likely have to do in China some day. All of it.”
In a reaction, Bosworth said the memo was designed to bolster discussion in the company, but distanced himself from the contents, Reuters reported.
“Boz is a talented leader who says many provocative things. This was one that most people at Facebook including myself disagreed with strongly. Weve never believed the ends justify the means,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg added in a statement, according to Reuters.
The memo was revealed as Facebook reels from a broader controversy about alleged misuse of data culled on its site for political purposes. The site has vowed to broaden its fact-checking tools to also examine photos and videos on the site, and specifically target “pages of foreign origin that are distributing civic content (inauthentically),” according to Facebook representatives who briefed reporters during a call in the United States Thursday.
“Were starting in France with the AFP and will be scaling to more countries and partners soon,” Tessa Lyons, a Facebook product manager, said in a blog post.
The fact-checking initiative is designed to beef up Facebooks resilience, especially around elections.