by Wired Editor-in-Chief James Pennebaker in response to a tweet from the CEO of Facebook: “What the fuck are you talking about?
You know you’re not being serious.”
A day after the CEO and other Facebook employees were fired, the New York Times’ James Poniewozik reported that the company was planning to launch a program to test people for mental health issues.
The program will run for two months and, according to Poniewoek, Facebook is not disclosing any details about the process or its participants.
Facebook is not the only company to use a program like this to test its users.
Last month, Facebook revealed that it was testing a program called Lifeline, which is part of the company’s mental health effort, to help people with depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health concerns.
The company says that Lifeline will help people get better faster by helping them find the support they need to recover and become happier, which it says can include getting therapy.
While Facebook has not made any public comments about Lifeline in the wake of the CEO’s comments, the company has been quick to distance itself from the program.
“We don’t support any program that encourages people to self-medicate,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post after the Times’ article was published.
We do not support any programs that seek to give someone a diagnosis of mental illness.”
In the same post, Zuckerberg also noted that the Facebook CEO had spoken out against the program, which he said “is not supported by science, and it is certainly not endorsed by Facebook itself.”
Facebook is now the third-largest U.S. social network with 1.6 billion monthly active users, according for the company.
But Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg recently said in an interview with Bloomberg TV that the social network was “not going to be a leader in terms of being a leader” on mental health.
According to Poniello, the Facebook experiment appears to have been a test run for future initiatives.
“The fact that it has happened at all is significant because of the kind of reaction it generated, particularly because of what Facebook did to remove their internal policy on using data from the platform to help us understand how to better serve people,” he said.