Frances Haugen, 37, Facebook whistleblower said the thousands of documents she had collected and shared with the Wall Street Journal. And even with US law enforcement showed the company was lying to the public that it was making significant progress against hate, violence and misinformation.
In an interview with a news program on Sunday, the Facebook whistleblower, Haugen explained her decision to speak out about the internal workings of Facebook, saying she had become alarmed by what she perceived as company policies that prioritized profit over public safety.
Haugen joined Facebook in 2019 as a product manager on its civic integrity team. The same which focused on issues related to elections worldwide. After spending more than a decade working in the tech industry, including at Pinterest and Google.
Frances Haugen said –
“The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.”– Frances Haugen
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimise for its own interests, like making more money,”– Frances Haugen
“No one at Facebook is malevolent,” Haugen told at the show, 60 Minutes. She said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, “has never set out to make a hateful platform”. But, she said, the effects of the company’s choices had been grave.
She said she agreed to take the job only if she could work to help the company combat misinformation, saying the issue was personal for her. Haugen, she felt resistance in taking the action needed to address these issues, even when the tools were available. She left the company in May this year.
Facebook proved it could do more to address these problems when it changed content policies for several weeks surrounding the. 2020 US elections, she said. Adding the company deliberately gave a lower priority to political content on its news feed.
The platform soon went back to old algorithms that valued engagement over all else, she claimed, a move that she said contributed to the 6 January riot at the Capitol. Facebook also disbanded the civic integrity team after the election.
Haugen will soon testify before the US Congress with the proofs backing her claims.
image credits (Wikimedia Commons)
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