On Sunday evening, a former Facebook employee who had previously leaked internal documents about the company came forward. 60 minutes To reveal his identity.
Frances Hausen, former product manager of Facebook’s Citizen Integrity team, shared the documents based on an explosive series of articles in the Wall Street Journal. Reports have emerged that the company knew its products could cause significant harm – including negative effects on adolescents’ mental health – but has yet to make major changes to address such issues.
“There was a conflict of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook, repeatedly, has chosen to optimize for its own interests, such as making more money, “Hagen said. 60 minutes Sunday interview.
The employee also shared new allegations – previously not covered by the WSJ’s extensive reporting – shortly before the January riots in the U.S. capital, Facebook relaxed its standards on misinformation after the 2020 presidential election.
In an internal staff memo received and published by the New York Times on Friday, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s vice president of public policy and global affairs, wrote that January’s responsibilities depended on “perpetrators of violence and those involved in politics” and others who actively encouraged them. Clegg further wrote that Facebook is not the “primary cause of polarization”.
Facebook has been plagued by public relations and political crisis for the past five years. But it is also a wonderful moment for companies and the billions of people who use their products. Already, in response to documents released by Whistleblower, the company has halted its Instagram development for baby products, brought two executives to testify before Congress, and launched a PR attack dismissing the Wall Street Journal report as “cherry picking.”
Whistleblower also shared Facebook internal documents with lawmakers and is expected to testify before members of Congress on Tuesday. Whistleblower is coordinating with lawmakers to reflect on how politicians on both sides of the aisle view social media companies like Facebook with greater concern – and become more adept at scrutinizing them.
“This is the first time I can think of something dramatic, an anonymous whistle blower, with so many documents and a big release,” said Katie Harbath, former director of public policy at Facebook. And the Atlantic Council.
Although many Facebook employees have spoken out against the company anonymously or internally, only a handful বিশেষ especially at a high-ranking level কখনও have ever spoken out against Facebook on record. And never before have they released such detailed evidence that the company apparently understands but ignores the systemic damage it has caused.
Nor did any Facebook defector have such a press rollout: first, a series of investigative reports with a large publication, then an unveiling on primetime television, and soon testimony before Congress – all in just a few weeks.
The extent to which Facebook apparently knew about the harmful effects of its products and withheld that knowledge from the public, such as lawmakers Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to compare the company’s strategies with large tobacco.
Facebook has already responded to a complaint with a playbook defense, which is similar to President Joe Biden’s criticism that the platform is “killing people” by spreading misinformation about the Kovid-1 mis on the platform. The company and its leaders argue that the allegations are sensational and untrue, the information is being taken out of context and Facebook is not solely responsible for the world’s problems.
And as it did during the recent biden and Facebook Covid-1 mis misinformation debate, Facebook has questioned the credibility of outside research on how its platforms work.
This time, the company went so far as to insult some of its internal researchers’ discoveries about the negative effects of Instagram on adolescent mental health. Last week, it distributed an annotated version of the original study that was first published in the journal. In an annotated slide, Facebook said its researchers’ slide headlines could be “shocking” that Instagram could negatively contribute to the issue of body images of teenage girls. The agency further said that the size of the study is limited.
The fact that the company is debating the top results of its employees ’research shows how damaging the report that came out of Whistleblower’s documentation is and how quickly the company is going to change the details.
“This is a big moment,” said Yale Eisenstat, former global head of Facebook’s election integrity program. He has been a vocal critic of the company since he left in November 2011. We should not believe what they say. This time, the documents speak for themselves, ”he told the record.
One of the main reasons why this recent scandal seems so significant is that politicians on both sides of the corridor feel cheated by Facebook because they had previously asked CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the impact of Instagram’s mental health on children and adolescents and the company wasn’t coming.
In March, Zuckerberg told Congress that he did not believe the study was final, and that “overall, the research we have seen is that connecting with other people using social apps can have positive mental health benefits.” But he did not reveal negative results in a study cited in a Wall Street Journal report, which studied 13 percent of British teen users and 6 percent of American teen users who had suicidal thoughts and wanted to commit suicide on Instagram.
The company also did not participate in the study in response to two separate inquiries by reporter Kathy McMurray Rogers (R-MA), and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) when they sought an internal Facebook investigation into the matter after a congressional hearing in March.
Between current and former Facebook employees – instead of keeping quiet about allegations of increased communication between company employees – starting Frankly Discussion of the company According to the New York Times, there are problems with internal settings such as Twitter and the company’s message board.
According to the Times, some researchers working at the company are “embarrassed” that Facebook has fired its own employees. Facebook, like other major technology companies, prides itself on hiring world-class researchers and engineers. If it further tarnishes Facebook’s image in the engineering and academic communities, it could limit the ability of qualified employees to be hired.
“I think Facebook is misunderstanding what a water moment it is, just because people now have eyes on this document, but employees are starting to get angry,” Eisenstat told Record.
In the coming days, the whistleblower will be drawn to his personal story: his background, what he has done on Facebook, whether he has any incentive to share this information without public interest, and how he may face legal action to challenge or retaliate for his actions. Facebook executives have testified under oath that they will not take revenge against him for addressing Congress).
But the whistle blower is coming forward much more than one. The whistleblower has revisited the long-running controversy inside and outside the company about Facebook’s flaws in the disclosure of thousands of documents involving the work of many of the company’s people – which were later widely ignored by CEOs.
“[The whistleblower] Facebook executives have given an unpublished and unprecedented look at how much they have neglected the life-and-death consequences of their own products and decisions, ”Jesse Lerich, co-founder of the policy nonprofit Accountable Tech, told Ricod. “And he’s made it easier for others to talk.”