Did Facebook choose profits over user security? Whistleblower ready to make an argument

Former Facebook worker and whistleblower Frances Haugen will urge the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to regulate the social media large, which she plans to liken to tobacco corporations that for many years denied that smoking broken well being, in accordance to ready testimony seen by Reuters.

“When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action,” stated Haugen’s written testimony to be delivered to a Senate Commerce subcommittee. “I implore you to do the same here.”

Haugen will inform the panel that Facebook executives usually selected profits over user security. “The company’s leadership knows ways to make Facebook and Instagram safer and won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people. Congressional action is needed,” she’s going to say. “As long as Facebook is operating in the dark, it is accountable to no one. And it will continue to make choices that go against the common good.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar, who’s on the subcommittee, stated that she would ask Haugen concerning the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

“I am also particularly interested in hearing from her about whether she thinks Facebook did enough to warn law enforcement and the public about January 6th and whether Facebook removed election misinformation safeguards because it was costing the company financially,” Klobuchar stated in an emailed remark.

The senator additionally stated that she needed to talk about Facebook`s algorithms, and whether or not they “promote harmful and divisive content.”

Haugen, who labored as a product supervisor on Facebook’s civic misinformation staff, was the whistleblower who supplied paperwork utilized in a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate listening to on Instagram’s hurt to teen ladies.

Facebook owns Instagram in addition to WhatsApp. The firm didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Haugen added that “Facebook`s closed design means it has no oversight — even from its own Oversight Board, which is as blind as the public.”

That makes it unimaginable for regulators to function a examine, she added. “This inability to see into the actual systems of Facebook and confirm that Facebook’s systems work like they say is like the Department of Transportation regulating cars by watching them drive down the highway,” her testimony says. “Imagine if no regulator could ride in a car, pump up its wheels, crash test a car, or even know that seat belts could exist.”

The Journal’s tales, based mostly on Facebook inside displays and emails, confirmed the corporate contributed to elevated polarization on-line when it made modifications to its content material algorithm; failed to take steps to scale back vaccine hesitancy; and was conscious that Instagram harmed the psychological well being of teenage ladies.

Haugen stated Facebook had executed too little to forestall its platform from being utilized by folks planning violence. “The result has been a system that amplifies division, extremism, and polarization — and undermining societies around the world. In some cases, this dangerous online talk has led to actual violence that harms and even kills people,” she stated.

Facebook was utilized by folks planning mass killings in Myanmar and within the Jan. 6 assault by Trump supporters who have been decided to toss out the 2020 election outcomes.

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