Frances Haugen, the former employee who accused Facebook of putting profit over safety, has testified before the US Senate. The whistleblower condemned the extreme secrecy and lack of transparency around Facebook and how its algorithms work. 'I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy,' she said. 'The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people.' Continue reading...
Whistleblower Frances Haugen adds to long-held concerns that social media site is fuelling violence and instability
Whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony to US senators on Tuesday shone a light on violence and instability in Myanmar and Ethiopia in recent years and long-held concerns about links with activity on Facebook.
“What we saw in Myanmar and are now seeing in Ethiopia are only the opening chapters of a story so terrifying, no one wants to read the end of it,” Haugen said in her striking testimony. Haugen warned that Facebook was “literally fanning ethnic violence” in places such as Ethiopia because it was not policing its service adequately outside the US. Continue reading...
Despite years of hearings, the company has long seemed untouchable. But Frances Haugen appears to have inspired rare bipartisanship
The testimony of Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, is likely to increase pressure on US lawmakers to undertake concrete legislative actions against the formerly untouchable tech company, following years of hearings and circular discussions about big tech’s growing power.
In a hearing on Tuesday, the whistleblower shared internal Facebook reports with Congress and argued the company puts “astronomical profits before people”, harms children and is destabilizing democracies. Continue reading...
In her explosive Senate testimony, the former employee exposed how the tech giant puts profit before the public good
The journey from disillusioned ex-employee to modern-day heroine took Frances Haugen less than five months. The 37-year-old logged out of Facebook’s company network for the last time in May and last week was being publicly lauded a “21st-century American hero” on Washington’s Capitol Hill.
That journey was paved with tens of thousands of internal documents, taken from Facebook’s internal system by Haugen, that formed the backbone of a series of damning revelations first published in the Wall Street Journal last month. They revealed that Facebook knew its products were damaging the mental health of teenage girls, resisted changes that would make the content of its main platform less divisive and knew its main platform was being used to incite ethnic violence in Ethiopia. Continue reading...
Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, joined a growing list of Silicon Valley former employees to call out company policies
When Frances Haugen revealed she was the Facebook whistleblower who supplied internal documents to Congress and the Wall Street Journal, she joined a growing list of current and former Silicon Valley employees who’ve come forward to call out military contracts, racism, sexism, contributions to climate crisis, pay disparities and more in the industry.
In the past days, the Guardian spoke with five former employees of Amazon, Google, and Pinterest who’ve spoken out about their companies’ policies. The conversations revealed Haugen’s experience has been singular in some respects. Few of them received the international praise bestowed upon her. Some of them said they have faced termination, retaliation, harassment and prolonged litigation. Continue reading...
Whistleblower Frances Haugen testified the company is harming children and putting profits over safety, but what lies ahead?
The congressional testimony of Frances Haugen is being described as a potential watershed moment after the former Facebook employee turned whistleblower warned lawmakers must “act now” to rein in the social media company.
But the impact of the hearing – in which Haugen used her time at Facebook and leaked internal research to build a case that it is harming children, destabilizing democracies, and putting profits over safety – is uncertain, as lawmakers, experts and regulators remain split over the path forward. Continue reading...
Mothers describe their daughters’ dangerous experiences after whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony
Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, Michelle noticed her teenage daughters were spending substantially more time on Instagram.
The girls were feeling isolated and bored during lockdown, the Arizona mom, who has asked to be identified by her first name to maintain her children’s privacy, recalled. She hoped social media could be a way for them to remain connected with their friends and community. Continue reading...
The whistle-blower Frances Haugen hoped that her revelations would prompt a reckoning. Instead, the company has doubled down.
On Sunday, Frances Haugen revealed herself as the Facebook whistleblower in a “60 Minutes” interview, alleging the company disregarded safeguards to combat disinformation following the 2020 election. She will testify before Congress later this week.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified to Congress Tuesday, denouncing the company for prioritizing "astronomical profits" over the safety of billions of users, and urging lawmakers to enact strict oversight over Facebook. Haugen's testimony gave a rare glimpse into the secretive tech company, which she accused of harming children, sowing division by boosting hateful content, and undermining democracy. "Facebook wants you to believe that the problems we're talking about are unsolvable. They want you to believe in false choices," Haugen said at the hearing. Roger McNamee, a former mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, says a U.S. business culture "where CEOs are told to prioritize shareholder value at all cost" is partly to blame for Facebook's design. "We have abdicated too much power to corporations. We have essentially said we're not going to regulate them." We also speak with tech reform activist Jessica González, who says Haugen's testimony has exposed how little Facebook regulates its platform outside the English-speaking world. "Facebook has not adequately invested to keep people safe across languages," says González. "There is a very racist element to the lack of investment."
Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen will appear before MPs looking into regulating big technology.
Frances Haugen's Facebook leaks and the new Silenced No More Act may help others to come forward.
Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen testifies before a Senate panel that the social media giant chooses profits over users' safety.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will meet with the social network's independent court-like oversight board in the coming weeks to discuss her concerns about the company, the Facebook Oversight Board said Monday.
Facebook has recently taken a harsher tone toward whistleblower Frances Haugen, suggesting that the social network giant could be considering legal action after Haugen went public with internal research that she copied before leaving her job earlier this year.
Employees are divided over Frances Haugen, a former product manager who testified that the company was putting profit before safety.