Facebook prioritized growth over safety
A former Facebook product engineer Frances Haugen leaked thousands of internal documents related to the company.
Frances Haugen took the opportunity to attack the company’s business model and news feed algorithm. she said that documents she leaked proved that Facebook repeatedly prioritized growth over safety.
Allegation About Facebook and Instagram
Frances Haugen shared those documents with the Wall Street Journal. Revelations include that Facebook was aware of problems with its apps, including the negative effects of misinformation and the harm caused, especially to young girls, by Instagram.
The document she revealed shows that celebrities, politicians, and high-profile Facebook users were treated differently. The leaks revealed a system known as XCheck( cross-check) that moderates those accounts and policies were applied differently.
Another leak shows that Facebook was also facing a complex lawsuit from its own shareholders. Internal research done by Facebook found that Instagram was impacting the mental health of teenagers.
Haugen further mentioned that Facebook choose to optimize for its own interest, like making more money.
Prior to this, she also filed eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the company is hiding research about its shortcomings from investors and the public.
In the interview, on CBS’s 60 Minutes program, Ms. Haugen said she quit the job on Facebook earlier this year after becoming frustrated with the company policy. Before leaving, she copied a series of internal memos and documents. Which late she handed it over to Wall Street Journal.
Frances Haugen Testifies In Congress
Facebook whistleblowers, Miss Haugen wants Facebook to change its algorithm and co-operate with researchers. She mentioned that decisions made inside Facebook are disastrous for the children, for public safety, for our privacy, and for our democracy.
Throughout the hearing, Haugen made clear that Facebook’s current algorithm is dangerous. The algorithm of Facebook contains an AI that displays the content that it thinks will be most interesting to individual users. For example, Content like boosting misinformation, and violent content get priority which has a stronger reaction from users.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Reaction
The co-founder and CEO of facebook, Mark Zuckerberg finally speaks against the allegation. He said that facebook whistleblower’s claims doesn’t make any sense. He also mentioned that not any tech company would build a products that make people angry or depressed.
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