The whistleblower said the company put profit before the public good
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen took aim at her former employer, accusing the social media giant of “separating our societies” in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes.
“The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world,” Haugen told 60 minutes Sunday.
Despite assurances from the Facebook leadership that the company is working to make the platform safer, Haugen accused the company of placing profit above profit for the public.
Haugen said, “There was a conflict of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook repeatedly chose to optimize for their own interests, such as making more money.”
Haugen’s interview comes after he collected the documents and whistled the Wall Street Journal on Facebook, which then published a series of reports On files that disclosed previously unknown details about the inner workings of the social media company.
The documents revealed that Facebook’s own internal research revealed that the company was aware that some of its products were harming the mental health of some of its users, particularly teenage girls.
“Facebook’s own research states, as soon as these young women start consuming this eating disorder stuff, they become more and more depressed. And it really uses them up.” [Instagram] more,” Haugen said.
Haugen said Facebook put profit above the well-being of those who harm.
“Facebook has realized that if they changed the algorithm to be secure, people would spend less time on the site, they would click on fewer ads, they would make less money,” she said. “Facebook has shown time and again that it chooses profit over security.”
Haugen, a data scientist with a computer engineering degree and a Harvard MBA, said he took a job at Facebook to combat misinformation after losing a friend to online conspiracy theories. But although she acknowledges that the company did take some steps to combat misinformation during the 2020 election, many of those policies were only temporary.
The whistleblower believes the federal government must act now to regulate the company, an idea that has gained more traction among lawmakers in the wake of the story.
Just last week, Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation aimed at holding social media companies accountable for their losses.
Get Granthshala Business on the go by clicking here
“Like Big Tobacco before it, Big Tech advances products it knows are harmful,” a Hawley spokesperson said in a release explaining the law. “At last week’s Senate hearing, a Facebook representative in response to Senator Hawley’s question did not even say that Instagram is safe to use. Social media companies should not be allowed to continue to profit from exploiting children. “
In a statement in response to the 60 Minutes interview, Facebook said they “continue to make significant improvements to combat the spread of misinformation and harmful content. Suggesting that we encourage bad content and nothing more Do it, it’s not true.”