The data analyst who was exposed as the whistleblower from Facebook says that whenever there is a conflict between the public welfare and the company’s economic benefits, the social network chooses its own interests.
Frances Hogan, 37, was identified in an interview on “60 Minutes” as the woman who anonymously told federal authorities that the company’s private investigations show how it amplifies hate and disinformation.
Haugen, who worked at Google and Pinterest before joining Facebook in 2019, said he applied to work in an area of the company that fights misinformation, after losing a friend to conspiracy theories circulating online.
“Facebook has, time and time again, shown that it favors profit over our safety,” said Hugin, who will testify before Congress this week. She said she hoped the government would show its face by implementing measures to regulate the company’s activities.
He said Facebook prematurely disrupted preventive measures to combat misinformation and demagogy after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump last year, noting that this contributed to the January 6 storming of the Federal Capitol.
After the election ended, the company dismantled the civic integrity unit that Haugen had been working on. At that point, she realized, she said, she wasn’t confident “that they were willing to invest what really had to be invested to prevent Facebook from being dangerous.”
The point in question is the algorithms that govern what appears on users’ pages and how they prefer hateful content.
Haugen said that 2018’s change in the flow of content contributed to more division and bitterness in a network that was supposedly created to bring people closer together.
Despite the animosities the new algorithms were stirring up, Facebook found that it kept users coming back to the social network, a pattern that helped the California giant Menlo Park sell more digital ads.
Facebook’s annual revenue has more than doubled from $56 billion in 2018 to an estimated $119 billion this year, according to the calculations of analysts polled by FactSet. Meanwhile, the company’s market capitalization has gone from $375 billion at the end of 2018 to nearly $1 trillion today.
Even before the entire interview aired on Sunday, a senior Facebook official said the complainant’s allegations were “misleading.”
“Social media has had a huge impact on society in recent years, and Facebook is often a place where a lot of this discussion takes place,” Nick Clegg, the company’s vice president of political and public affairs, said in a note to the company. employees.
“But the available evidence does not support the idea that Facebook, or social media in general, is the main cause of polarization.”
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