In a whistleblower move, Francis Haugen, former Facebook employee who quit last March, had much to say.
A Facebook whistleblower who brought internal documents detailing the company’s research to The Wall Street Journal and the U.S. Congress unmasked herself ahead of an interview she gave to “60 Minutes,” which aired Sunday night.
Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, according to her website, revealed herself as the source behind a trove of leaked documents. On her personal website, she shared that during her time at the company, she “became increasingly alarmed by the choices the company makes prioritizing their own profits over public safety — putting people’s lives at risk. As a last resort and at great personal risk, Frances made the courageous act to blow the whistle on Facebook.”
“I’ve seen a bunch of social networks and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’d seen before,” Haugen told “60 Minutes.”
Jeff Horwitz, the Journal reporter who wrote the series of articles based on the leaked documents, also shared Haugen’s identity on Twitter on Sunday night, revealing her as the key source behind the stories.
The documents, first reported by the Journal, revealed that Facebook executives had been aware of negative impacts of its platforms on some young users, among other findings. For example, the Journal reported that one internal document found that of teens reporting suicidal thoughts, 6% of American users traced the urge to kill themselves to Instagram.
Haugen pointed to the 2020 election as a turning point at Facebook. She said Facebook had announced it was dissolving the “Civic Integrity” team, to which she was assigned, after the election. Just a few months later, social media communications would be a key focus in the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“When they got rid of Civic Integrity, it was the moment where I was like, ‘I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous,’” Haugen told “60 Minutes.”
Read the scathing details of Hauge’s assessment of Facebook here.
While Hauge’s reported problems with “ethics and morals” at the core of her “60 Minute’s Interview,” The Daily Mail revealed the problems as “error” but not a cyberattack.
Daily Mail-“Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer offered his ‘sincere apologies’ on Monday afternoon as a global outage of the website along with Instagram and WhatsApp stretched into its fifth hour, costing the company $50billion and CEO Mark Zuckerberg $7billion and counting.
The cause of the outage is believed to have been changes made to Facebook’s systems at 11.50am EST.
It is believed they were caused in error and were not a cyber attack, but Facebook is yet to confirm the cause of the outage.”
Please read here to obtain the full Daily Mail report.
Montana Daily Gazette will keep readers informed as the story develops.