Facebook whistleblower reveals identity ahead of ’60 minute’ interview
A Facebook whistleblower who brought an internal document detailing the company’s investigation to the Wall Street Journal and the US Congress came out ahead of an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night. ..
Francis Hogen, former product manager of Facebook’s civilian disinformation team, identified himself as the source behind a pile of leaked documents, according to his website. On her personal website, while at the company, “the company became increasingly cautious about choosing to prioritize its own interests over public safety, thus putting life people in danger. Last resort. , And at great personal risk. Francois took the courageous act of whistling on Facebook. “
According to his LinkedIn profile, Haugen previously worked as a product manager on Pinterest, Yelp and Google. She also identifies herself as the technical co-founder of the dating app Hinge and states that she brought her predecessor, Secret Agent Cupid to the market.
“I’ve seen a lot of social media, but on Facebook it’s a lot worse than I’ve ever seen,” Haugen told “60 Minutes”.
Haugen said he quit Facebook in May, “60 minutes”.
Journalist Jeff Howitz, who wrote a series of articles based on the leaked document Share Haugen’s identity on Twitter On Sunday night, she was revealed as a major source of information behind the story.
The first document reported by the Journal revealed that Facebook executives were aware of the platform’s negative impact on some young users, among other findings. For example, the newspaper reported that an internal document found that 6% of American teens reporting suicidal ideation followed the urge to kill themselves on Instagram.
Facebook has since reported data carefully curated by the newspaper, and even the headlines of its own internal presentations contain potentially positive data, as many users have found a positive impact from their involvement in their products. He states that he ignored the interpretation.
“Our team protects the ability of billions of people to speak out openly,” Facebook spokeswoman Lena Pietch said in a statement after Hogen’s identity was revealed. We have to find a balance between the need to keep the platform in a safe and positive place. “” We continue to make significant improvements to combat the spread of false information and harmful content. It is not true to encourage bad content and suggest doing nothing.
Haugen said he decided to release Facebook’s internal communications this year, acknowledging that they need to be posted “in a systematic manner” and “so that no one can doubt that this is the reality.” Get out enough. “
Haugen has now copied and published tens of thousands of pages of documents, the “60 Minutes” reported.
Haugen pointed out that the 2020 election was a turning point for Facebook. She said Facebook announced it would disband its “Civic Integrity” team after the election. A few months later, social media communications will be at the center of concerns following the January 6 riots at the United States Capitol.
“When they took out civic integrity, that’s when I thought: I’m ready to invest what I need to keep Facebook from becoming dangerous,” Haugen said. Noted. Minutes. “
Facebook told a news program it has distributed the work of the Civic Integrity Team to other units.
Haugen pointed to Facebook’s algorithm as something that transmits false information to users. She said Facebook was aware of the risk of false information for the 2020 election and therefore added a security system to reduce that risk. But she said Facebook relaxed those security measures again after the election.
“As soon as the elections were over, they either put them back in place or put their parameters back in place to prioritize growth over security,” Hogen said. “And that really sounds like a betrayal of democracy to me. “
In an interview with a newspaper published shortly after the “60 Minutes” article began airing, Hogen said he found several of his polls on Facebook’s internal employee forums. According to the newspaper, she sought a poll from a colleague who praised her. The newspaper was often found in farewell messages highlighting claims of Facebook failure.
Haugen also told the newspaper that he openly wonders why Facebook hasn’t hired more workers to tackle issues like human exploitation on the platform.
“Facebook acted as if it was powerless to staff these teams,” she told the newspaper.
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told the newspaper that “we have invested a lot in people and technology to keep our platform secure and have made tackling fake news and corruption a priority. provision of reliable information “.
Lawmakers did not appear to be affected by Facebook’s reaction to the newspaper’s report based on Haugen’s disclosure. In a hearing at the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Thursday, senators on both sides of the aisle blamed the company and called for a temporary suspension of construction of a platform Instagram for kids. Lawmakers said they didn’t think Facebook could be a good administrator of such a platform based on reports and past actions.
Whistleblowers will testify Tuesday on consumer protection before the Senate Trade Subcommittee. Facebook Security Antigoon Davis, Global Head, told lawmakers on Thursday that Facebook would not retaliate against whistleblowers for its disclosure to the Senate.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the subcommittee, said in a statement Sunday night that “Facebook’s actions reveal that it cannot trust the police per se.” “In the necessary reforms, we must consider enhanced surveillance, effective protection for children and tools for parents. “
Haugen “sympathized” with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying, “I never started to create a nasty platform, but I don’t like more polarized content. If there is a side effect to do, leave the choice. And more reach. “
She called for more regulation on the company to curb it.
“Facebook has shown time and time again that Facebook cannot act independently, showing that it chooses profit over security,” Hogen told 60 Minutes. paddy field. “It’s a grant and we are paying our money safe and profitable. I hope this will have enough impact on the world and give them the courage and motivation to actually apply these regulations. That’s what I want. “
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