Facebook’s Tech Boss Once Argued that Terror Attacks Planned on Platform Are the Price to ‘Connect People’

Facebook CTO Andrew Bosworth
GLENN CHAPMAN /Getty

Facebook’s new Chief Technology Officer, Andrew Bosworth, once argued in a 2016 memo that using Facebook to connect more people around the world was the morally right thing to do even if “someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.”

The Telegraph reports that in a memo from 2016, Facebook’s newly named Chief Technology Officer Andrew Bosworth argued that the company should continue to connect people around the world despite negative consequences, including if “someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools.”

Bosworth, a longtime member of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s inner circle, suggested in the 2016 memo that Facebook’s value to society was so important that negative consequences of the social media platform should be ignored.

july 4

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg chose a hovering electric surfboard, the U.S. flag and a John Denver “Take Me Home, Country Roads” soundtrack to underline his everyday, all American boy self-regard on July 4. As you do. (Mark Zuckerberg/Screenshot)

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22: An armed police officer stands guard near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 22: An armed police officer stands guard near Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017 in London, England. A police officer has been stabbed near to the British Parliament and the alleged assailant shot by armed police. Scotland Yard report they have been called to an incident on Westminster Bridge where several people have been injured by a car. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Bosworth stated in the memo that connecting people “can be bad if they make it negative,” adding: “Maybe it costs a life by exposing someone to bullies. Maybe someone dies in a terrorist attack coordinated on our tools. And still we connect people. The ugly truth is that we believe in connecting people so deeply that anything that allows us to connect more people more often is de facto good.”

Bosworth previously headed Facebook’s virtual-reality division but was recently appointed to the position of CTO as the company faces further scrutiny worldwide and strict new guidelines in the UK due to the Online Safety Bill which aims to protect users from extreme material.

When asked about the 2016 memo in 2018, Bosworth told BuzzFeed “I didn’t even agree with it when I wrote it.” Zuckerberg said at the time that he “disagreed strongly,” with the comments.

Facebook has been attempting to do significant damage control in recent weeks following a series of damning reports from the Wall Street Journal. According to the Wall Street Journal, internal Facebook documents reveal that tech giant Apple threatened to remove Facebook from its App Store in 2019 following a report from BBC News that detailed the human trafficking taking place across the social media platform.

The Wall Street Journal also claimed that Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm saw a major change in 2018 that appeared to promote outrageous and negative content on the platform. When informed of this, top executives including CEO Mark Zuckerberg were allegedly hesitant to solve the issue.

In another report titled “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show,” the Wall Street Journal claims that Facebook is aware that its photo-sharing app Instagram can have a negative effect on the body image of young women.

Read more at the Telegraph here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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