TECHNOLOGY

The hearing of this Facebook whistle blower will be different


The only safe The Senate hearing on Facebook is predicted to be the first of its kind in a long time. Different. Over the past three-and-a-half years, the company has sent a rolling cast of top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to Washington to talk about Facebook and its affiliates, Instagram and WhatsApp. It has become a recurring scenario where executives exploit and avoid abuse while Facebook speaks of great ways to bring the world together. Today’s testimony of former employee Frances Hausen, who leaked thousands of pages of internal research The W.All street journals, Congress, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, no doubt decided.

Hausen, who revealed his identity in one 60 minutes Sunday Segment, a former member of the Citizens Integrity Team: whose job was to tell the company how to make its platform better for humanity, even at the expense of engagement and growth. After nearly two years of working there, Hausen decided it was an impossible task. When conflicts arise between business interests and the safety and well-being of users, “Facebook consistently resolves those conflicts for its own profit,” as he puts it in his prepared opening statement. So he left the company – and took a lot of paperwork with him. He argues that these documents prove that Facebook knows its “products harm children, divide divisions, weaken our democracy” and much more but decide not to solve those problems.

So what exactly does the document show? The Wall Street JournalReporting on an ongoing series called “The Facebook Files” is by far the only window to this question. According to a story, Facebook has changed its ranking algorithm to “meaningful social interaction” – a change that Zuckerberg publicly described as “the right thing” – to increase misinformation, anger and other kinds of negative content. It has done so to the extreme that European political parties have told Facebook that they feel the need to take a more extreme position in order for people to consume food. When researchers brought their findings to Zuckerberg, Journal It is learned that he has refused to take action. Another story records how Facebook’s “XCheck” program enforces more flexible rules for millions of VIP users worldwide, some of whom take advantage of the freedom to post content in violation of the platform’s rules. Another, perhaps most important, publication so far suggests that Facebook’s investment in security in many parts of the developing world – where its platforms are essentially the “Internet” for millions of people – is anemic or non-existent.

You can see the challenge here for both Hausen and the senator to question him: such wide-ranging revelations do not easily come together in one clear statement. Perhaps for that reason, the committee apparently plans to focus on a story whose headline announced, “Facebook knows Instagram is toxic for teens, displaying company documents.” The committee has already held a hearing on the matter last week. As I wrote at the time, the document in question, which Journal Posted publicly, that title is more inconsistent than suggested. These are based on general surveys, not just internal data of the type of access to Facebook. In other words, they may be politically beneficial, but they don’t increase people’s understanding of how Facebook’s platforms work.

Some of the other documents in the cache, however, apparently do. Importantly, at least accordingly JournalReporting this, they explain the gaps between Facebook executives ’public motivations of the company and what actually happens on its proprietary platform. So is Hagen’s own personal experience as an honest worker, pushing against the more hired passion of the Facebook leadership. Mobility can do more to move a conversation forward than any particular quest in research.


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