Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen exposes her true identity

Image credit: Rolling Stone

Her name has been disclosed by a former Facebook whistleblower who was responsible for a series of explosive leaks.

Frances Haugen, 37 years old. After losing a friend due to conspiracy theories online, she joined Facebook in June 2019 in the hopes of altering how the social media platform handles misinformation.

According to Haugen, a data scientist who worked as a product manager on Facebook’s Civic Integrity team, the social media site has misled the public about resolving hate and violence in order to enhance traffic and engagement—and thus profit. She claimed, among other things, that Facebook is to blame for the disturbance in the US Capitol on Jan. 6 because it revoked some of its anti-misinformation protections after the 2020 election.By April 2021, she had resigned from Facebook and given the Wall Street Journal access to a vast cache of internal records and research.

Documents released as part of the revelations revealed that Facebook treated celebrities, politicians, and high-profile users differently. According to the disclosures, various moderation policies were applied to such accounts, or none at all – a mechanism called XCheck (cross-check).

According to another source, Facebook is also being sued by a group of its own shareholders. The group claims that Facebook’s $5 billion (£3.65 billion) payment to the US Federal Trade Commission to address the Cambridge Analytica data controversy was excessive since it was intended to shield Mark Zuckerberg from personal culpability.

Ms. Haugen also discussed the January riots on Capitol Hill, suggesting that Facebook contributed to the violence. She claimed that during the US election, Facebook activated safety features to combat misinformation, but only for a limited time.

As soon as the election was finished, they switched them off or altered the settings back to what they were before, prioritising growth over safety, which feels like a betrayal of democracy.

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