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Facebook ‘chooses profit over safety’ of its users: Whistleblower Frances Haugen

facebook chooses profit over safety
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A whistleblower, who leaked a selection of internal documents from Facebook, has claimed that “Facebook over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety”.

A whistleblower leaked a cache of documents from Facebook to the Wall Street Journal, prompting an extensive investigation into the social network.

Following the publication of preliminary investigative efforts into the documents, the whistleblower, Frances Haugen, has come forward in an interview, explaining more about the tech giant’s workings and why she chose to release the data.

This data release sparked a flurry of reports, including one alleging that Facebook was aware that Instagram was harmful to the well-being of teenagers. This report prompted a hearing with the Senate Commerce Committee’s consumer protection subcommittee on adolescent mental health.

According to the report, Haugen doubled down on the document trove in an interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, seemingly proving Facebook cared more about its algorithms than dealing with hate speech and other toxic content.

Haugen previously worked as a product manager in the company’s Civic Integrity Group, but left after the group was disbanded.

She copied tens of thousands of pages of internal research before leaving, claiming it proves Facebook lies to the public about its progress against hate, violence, and misinformation.

“I knew what my future looked like if I continued to stay inside of Facebook, which is person after person after person has tackled this inside of Facebook and ground themselves into the ground,” said Haugen over her decision to release the documents.

“At some point in 2021, I realised Ok, I’m gonna have to do this in a systemic way, and I have to get out enough that no-one can question that this is real,” the data scientist said.

The documents included internal Facebook studies about its services, one of which concluded that Facebook had failed to act on hateful content.

Watch Facebook whistleblowers testifying in Senate: LIVE HERE.


About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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