FP TrendingOct 05, 2021 11:01:50 IST
Facebook has been accused by a whistleblower for concentrating more on profits than reducing hate speech and fake news and how its products contributed to the Capitol riots in Washington, in January. The accusations have been made by Frances Haugen, who is a former Facebook employee.
Facebook accused by a whistleblower
Haugen recently appeared on the CBS television program 60 Minutes to reveal her identity as the whistleblower who shared documents on Facebook with the Wall Street Journal. She worked as a product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team.
These were the documents that showed the Mark Zuckerberg-owned company in a negative light for hindering teenage girls’ mental health on Instagram, not creating enough COVID-19 vaccine awareness, and more.
The mental health issue has led to a Senate subcommittee hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online,” which will be attended by Haugen on Tuesday.
Frances, in the CBS interview, said there were conflicts of interest between what was good for Facebook and what was good for the public, and the social media giant chose to optimise its own interests such as making more money.
It was also suggested that Facebook had a role to play in the 6 January Capitol Riot as the platform was used to organise after security safeguards were disabled following the US presidential elections.
Commenting on the allegations, Facebook, said, “We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content,” said Facebook spokesperson Lena Pietsch. “To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
Facebook’s head of global policy, Nick Clegg, prepared the social media giant’s employees of the same by releasing a memo.