Facebook whistleblower revealed on ’60 Minutes,’ says the company prioritized profit over public good

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The 37-year-old former Facebook product manager who works on civil integrity issues at the company says documents show Facebook knows its platform is used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and the company has Tried to hide that evidence.

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“What I saw over and over again on Facebook was 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 said “60 minutes.

“60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelly quoted an insider. Facebook (American Plan) As the document put it: “We have evidence from a variety of sources that hate speech, divisive political speech and misinformation on Facebook and its family of apps are affecting societies around the world.”
About a month ago, Haugen filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the company was hiding research from investors and the public about its shortcomings. She also shared documents with the Wall Street Journal, which published multi-part test Showing that Facebook was aware of the problems with its apps, including the negative effects of misinformation and the harm caused to young girls in particular, by Instagram.
Haugen, who started at Facebook in 2019 after previously working for other tech giants Google (GOOGLE GOOGLE) And Pinterest (pins), is set to testify Tuesday before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security.

“I’ve seen a bunch of social networks, and it was much worse on Facebook than it was before,” Haugen said. “At some point in 2021, I realized that I had to do it in a systematic way, that I had to get out enough [documents] That no one can question whether it is true.”

Facebook has aggressively pushed back against the reports, calling many of the claims “misleading” and arguing that its apps do more good than harm.
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In a statement provided to Granthshala Business after “60 Minutes,” Facebook spokeswoman Lena Pietsch said, “Every day our teams need to keep our platform a safe and positive place, along with the ability of billions of people to express themselves openly. A balance has to be struck to protect.” Interview. “We continue to make significant improvements to combat the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest that we encourage bad content and do nothing is simply not true.”

Facebook Global Affairs Vice President Nick Clegg told Granthshala’s Brian Stelter Sunday morning before the 60 Minutes interview that “no other area of ​​life has as much perfection as on social media.”

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“We do a large amount of research, we share it with external researchers as much as we can, but remember … there’s a difference between doing a peer-review exercise in collaboration with other academics and preparing papers internally. The world is inciting and informing internal discussion,” Clegg said.

Haugen said he believes Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg “never set out to create a hateful platform, but he has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that.” Hateful and polarizing content gets more distribution and greater reach.”

whistleblower revealed

Haugen said she was recruited by Facebook in 2019 and worked to address the misinformation. But his feelings about the company began to change when the company decided to disband its civil integrity team shortly after the 2020 presidential election.

She suggested that the decision – and the company’s move to shut down other election safeguards such as misinformation prevention tools – allowed the platform to be used to help organize the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill. .

“They basically said, ‘Oh well, we made it through the election, there weren’t riots, we can get rid of civil integrity now,'” she said. “Fast forward a few months, and we had a rebellion. When they got rid of civil integrity, it was the moment where I was like, ‘I can’t believe they’re really ready to invest in what Investments need to be made to keep Facebook from becoming dangerous.'”

Facebook says the work of the civil integrity team was distributed to other entities when it was breached.

Haugen said the social media company’s algorithms designed to show users the content they’re most likely to engage with is responsible for many of its problems.

Senate questions Facebook about the company's impact on children

“One of the consequences of how Facebook is picking up on that content today is that it’s optimizing for content that gets engagement, feedback, but its own research is showing content that’s disgusting. What is divisive, that is polarizing, it is easier to drive people to anger than other emotions,” she said. She said the company recognizes that “if they change the algorithm to be secure, people will spend less time on the site, they will click on fewer ads, they will make less money.”

in an internal memorandum obtained by The New York Times Sunday, Clegg lashed out at claims that Facebook contributed to the January 6 riots.

“Social media has had a huge impact on society in recent years, and Facebook is often the place where this kind of debate takes place,” Clegg said in the memo. “So it’s natural for people to ask if this is part of the problem. But the idea that Facebook is the main cause of polarization is not supported by facts.”

Haugen said that “no one on Facebook is spiteful … the incentives are misaligned.”

“Facebook makes more money when you consume more content. People enjoy connecting with things that evoke an emotional response,” he said. “And the more anger they expose, the more they interact and the more they consume.”

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Credit : www.cnn.com

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