Bulletins

'I’m disappointed': Reid Hoffman says Facebook has lost public trust

"It's OK to have done the internal research and not reported it. But you then start the work streams to fix it."

'I’m disappointed': Reid Hoffman says Facebook has lost public trust

Reid Hoffman said he's "disappointed" in Facebook's response in light of Frances Haugen's whistleblower disclosures.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

LinkedIn founder and early Facebook investor Reid Hoffman applauded Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for coming forward and said he is "disappointed" in how the company handled the problems she disclosed to begin with. "It's OK to have done the internal research and not reported it," he said in an interview with Bloomberg. "But you then start the work streams to fix it."


Instead, Hoffman said, Facebook disbanded its civic integrity team that was doing this work. "That doesn't seem like you're working on it," he said. "That doesn't seem like the problem is fixed."

Hoffman also responded to criticism about the company's impact on kids and whether Instagram should be trusted to build a product for children under 13. "They have lost trust for good reasons," Hoffman said. "To regain it, they have to be extra transparent."

Hoffman said he had not yet spoken with Mark Zuckerberg, but said he believes the Facebook CEO will "learn from this." He also called on Facebook to expand the metrics it tracks beyond growth metrics like engagement and sessions. "If we know that certain kinds of content is causing body image issues and other kinds of things, we should add that to our dashboard and we should be measuring to make sure we're having a positive impact, not a negative," he said. "That's the kind of thing I'd want to be hearing from Facebook."

Despite these concerns, Hoffman argued "breaking up is not the answer," saying that splintering tech companies would only give them fewer resources and create "more mayhem."

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