Whistleblower alleges Facebook puts growth above safety
October 4, 2021 - A former Facebook employee behind a series of bombshell allegations has revealed her identity in a U.S. primetime TV interview.
Frances Haugen, a data scientist from Iowa and a former former product manager on the Civic Integrity unit at Facebook, has filed complaints with U.S. federal law enforcement alleging Facebook’s own research shows that it amplifies hate, misinformation and political unrest, but hides what it knows.
The bombshell accusations come after Haugen leaked thousands of pages of private Facebook research to The Wall Street Journal, which has been running a series of exposés over the past three weeks. She finally revealed her identity in a televised interview on CBS's 60 Minutes on Sunday evening.
Haugen says Facebook turned on safety systems to reduce misinformation during the U.S. election campaign, but only temporarily – turning them off again as soon as the election was over in November 2020. Two months later the Capitol riots occurred.
Appearing on a CNN television interview, Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said it was ludicrous to suggest Facebook was responsible for the riots.
One of the alleged internal Facebook documents aired on 60 Minutes says, “We have evidence from a variety of sources that hate speech, divisive political speech, and misinformation on Facebook and the family of apps are affecting societies around the world”.
On October 5, Ms. Haugen is set to testify before Congress about Facebook’s impact on young users.
- Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen: The 60 Minutes interview (CBS)
- Frances Haugen: Facebook whistleblower reveals identity (BBC)
- Does Facebook bear some responsibility for 1/6 riot? (CNN)
- Nine horrifying facts from the Facebook whistleblower’s new 60 Minutes interview (Gizmodo)
- Facebook encourages hate speech for profit, says whistleblower (The Verge)