Whistle-Blower Says Facebook ‘Chooses Profits Over Safety’

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By georgeskef

Frances Haugen, a Facebook product manager who quit Facebook in May, admitted that she’d given internal documents to journalists as well as others.

John Tye, the founder of Whistleblower Aid, a legal non-profit that helps people to uncover potential criminality and illegal activities, was contacted in the spring by way of a shared connection with an individual who claimed to be a worker for Facebook..

The woman revealed to the team of Mr. She and his team that she had access to tens thousand of internal documents from the world’s biggest social network. Through a series calls, she requested legal protection and a way to divulge the information. Tye, who said that he was aware of the seriousness of the situation “within a few minutes,” was willing for her to be her attorney and to call her by her name “Sean.”

Her “is a very courageous person and is taking a personal risk to hold a trillion-dollar company accountable,” said the source. stated.

In an interview on “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday in the show, the host, Ms. Haugen, 37, admitted that she was disturbed by the behavior she observed at Facebook. Facebook was always putting its own interests ahead of than the interest of the public she claimed. She then copied pages from facebook‘s internal research, and then took action to address it.

“I’ve seen a bunch of social networks and it was substantially worse at Facebook than what I had seen before,” Ms. Haugen said. She said “Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety.”

Mrs. Haugen gave many of the documents to The Wall Street Journal, that published last month the findings. These revelations — which include the fact that Facebook knew that Instagram was contributing to the worsening of issues with body image for teens, and also that it operated two-tier justice systems -are causing a backlash from regulators, lawmakers as well as the general public.

The woman. Haugen has also filed her whistleblower complaints before the Securities and Exchange Commission and has accused Facebook of deceiving investors by releasing public statements that do not correspond with its internal actions. Additionally, she has spoken with legislators like senators like Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut as well as Senator Marsha Blackburn who is of the Republican from Tennessee and has she has shared a subset of the documents with them.

Her spotlight is on her. Haugen is set to get brighter. On Tuesday, she’s scheduled to testify before Congress regarding the impact of Facebook on children.

Ms. Haugen’s actions are an indicator of the extent to which Facebook has become increasingly insecure. As Facebook has grown into an enormous corporation with more than six thousand employees Some of them are unhappy with the company’s turbulence between controversy and controversy about privacy of data, misinformation and hatred speech.

In the year 2018, Christopher Wylie who was a disgruntled Former employee at the consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica, set the foundation for leaks. Wylie was a disgruntled former employee at Cambridge Analytica. Wylie spoke to The New York Times, The Observer of London and The Guardian to reveal that Cambridge Analytica had improperly harvested Facebook data to create profiles of voters without their consent.

In the wake of the scandal the Facebook’s own employees started to speak out. In the same time, Facebook staff members have provided executives’ memos as well as documents for planning to various news organizations, such as The Times and BuzzFeed News. In the middle of 2020, Facebook employees who were dissatisfied with the Facebook’s decision to remove an unpopular post by the president Donald J. Trump took part in a walkout and provided more internal documents to media outlets..

“I think over the last year, there’ve been more leaks than I think all of us would have wanted,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive officer, stated in a conference with employees in June of 2020.

Facebook tried to take a preemptive step to defend itself against Mrs. Haugen. The company’s response came on Friday. Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of global and policy, sent employees a 1500-word note detailing what the whistleblower is likely to tell during “60 Minutes” and calling the allegations “misleading.” On Sunday the 23rd of September, Mr. Clegg made an appearance to CNN to defend Facebook, saying Facebook’s platform represented “the good, the bad and ugly of humanity” and was working to “mitigate the bad, reduce it and amplify the good.”

Facebook did not address directly the issue of Ms. Haugen late Sunday. Lena Pietsch, a company spokesperson, stated that it continued “to implement significant changes to combat the spread of false information as well as harmful material. To suggest that we promote negative content and not do anything is not true.”

In preparation for her revealing in the coming days, she. Haugen and her team created an account on Twitter for her as well as her own individual website. On the site the website, she was described as. Haugen was described as “an advocate for public oversight of social media.”

A Native of Iowa City, Iowa, Ms. Haugen studied electrical and computer engineering at Olin College and got an M.B.A. from Harvard according to the website. She later was a researcher for Google, Pinterest and Yelp. In June of 2019 the woman joined Facebook. In the Facebook group, she dealt with the issues of misinformation and democracy and also worked on counterespionage, as per the website.

Ms. Haugen’s letter to the S.E.C. was based on her documents that was found in a trove of cover letters including seven found from The Times. Each letter discussed a specific subject — for instance, the role Facebook played in spreading misinformation following the election of 2020 and the effect its products can have on teens their mental health and said that Facebook had committed “material misrepresentations and omissions in statements to investors and prospective investors.”

The letters contrasted the public statements and declarations to lawmakers from Mr. Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives with the company’s private research documents and internal reports. In one letter to the editor she wrote that Mrs. Haugen said Facebook contributed to misinformation about the election and also in the January. 6 uprising on the U.S. Capitol.

Although “Facebook has publicized its work to combat misinformation and violent extremism relating to the 2020 election and insurrection,” Ms. Haugen’s documents revealed an entirely different story, as one of the letters read. “In reality, Facebook knew its algorithms and platforms promoted this type of harmful content, and it failed to deploy internally recommended or lasting countermeasures.”

The Mr. Tye said he had spoken to the S.E.C.’s whistle-blower division and enforcement division about Facebook. The S.E.C. typically offers protections to corporate tipsters , which protect against being retaliated against. The agency also offers rewards of between 10 percent and 30 percent to whistleblowers in the event that their tips are successful in enforcement actions that lead to financial penalties that exceed $1 million.

The S.E.C. has not responded to a request to comment.

After making the S.E.C. complaint after which Mrs. Haugen and her legal team reached out to the Mr. Blumenthal and Ms. Blackburn and Ms. Blackburn. Tye said. The lawmakers conducted a hearing in the month of May on the safety of children online. The hearing focused on the ways that companies such as Facebook were collecting data via apps such as Instagram.

In August in August, in August. Blumenthal and Ms. Blackburn wrote in August to. Zuckerberg asking Facebook to divulge its research conducted internally about how its services impact kids’ mental wellbeing. Facebook responded with a statement which emphasized their apps’ beneficial impact on children. It also brushed aside concerns about internal research.

However, documents from the office of Ms. Haugen showed that Facebook’s researchers have conducted a variety of studies of the impact its products may be able to have on teens the company’s CEO, Mr. Blumenthal claimed in an interview this week. The company was involved with “concealment and deception,” Mr. Blumenthal said.

In an interview with the media on Sunday In an interview on Sunday. Blumenthal said Ms. Haugen “has proved to be credible, courageous and compelling from her first visit with my office in late summer.”

A portion of Ms. Haugen’s records have been given to the state attorneys general of California, Vermont, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Nebraska, Mr. Tye said.

However, he claimed that the documents weren’t disclosed to authorities like the Federal Trade Commission, which has brought an antitrust case in the case against Facebook. In the video shared through Whistleblower Aid, on the Sunday the video shows Mrs. Haugen said she did not believe that breaking up Facebook will solve the problems that the company faces.

“The path forward is about transparency and governance,” she stated during the interview. “It’s not about breaking up Facebook.”

The Ms. Haugen has also spoken to legislators in France and Britain she has also been she is a member of European Parliament. This month, she’s set to testify before an British Parliamentary committee. This is followed by appearances in Lisbon at Web Summit, a technology conference in Lisbon as well as in Brussels to have a meeting with European officials in November the Mr. Tye said.

On Sunday on Sunday, an GoFundMe page created by Whistleblower Aid created for Ms. Haugen also went live. The group noted that Facebook offered “limitless resources and an army of lawyers,” the group set the goal of raising $10,000. Within 30 minutes 18 donors had donated $1,195. Then, shortly afterward, the fundraising target was increased to $50,000.

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