Entertainment Facebook Whistleblower Reveals Herself In ’60 Minutes’ Interview, Says Company Is “Paying For Its Profits With Our Safety”
Neo-Nazis are still on Facebook. And they’re making money
BRUSSELS (AP) — It’s the premier martial arts group in Europe for right-wing extremists. German authorities have twice banned their signature tournament. But Kampf der Nibelungen, or Battle of the Nibelungs, still thrives on Facebook, where organizers maintain multiple pages, as well as on Instagram and YouTube, which they use to spread their ideology, draw in recruits and make money through ticket sales and branded merchandise. The Battle ofThe Battle of the Nibelungs — a reference to a classic heroic epic much loved by the Nazis — is one of dozens of far-right groups that continue to leverage mainstream social media for profit, despite Facebook’s and other platforms’ repeated pledges to purge themselves of extremism.
A formeremployee who has, with the release of a trove of internal documents, become a whisteblower over the company’s practices, revealed herself on Sunday on .
, a data scientist who until May worked on the company’s efforts to combat misinformation, told correspondent that the company is “paying for its profits with our safety.” Haugen copied thousands of pages of internal documents, revealing research on how its platform amplifies hate speech and how it can be harmful to teens. She released those documents to The Wall Street Journal, which revealed them in stories last month that immediately triggered criticism from Capitol Hill lawmakers.
Facebook, Instagram And WhatsApp Lighting Back Up Again After Hours-Long Outage – Update
UPDATED with service mostly restored. Facebook has given an official all-clear, but service appears to be returning for most users of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp after a multi-hour outage. The social media platforms went dark in much of the U.S., the UK and parts of Europe this morning. The timing generated a a large amount of speculation on Twitter (the main outlet for many Facebook users unable to express themselves in their usual fashion) that somehow the outage was related to some non-technical issue. The tech giant has faced weeks of hard-hitting stories about its inner workings in the Wall Street Journal.
Haugen’s attorney also filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission, on the grounds that the company is making material misstatements that adversely affect investors.
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” Haugen said in the interview. “And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money.”
Mark Zuckerberg Responds After Facebook Whistleblower Says Company Is 'Tearing Societies Apart'
Frances Haugen, a former product manager at Facebook, revealed herself as the source of leaked internal documents that were given to the Wall Street JournalZuckerberg, 37, posted his letter on Tuesday night, just hours after Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, testified before a Senate Commerce subcommittee and alleged that the company frequently chose to put "profits over people," according to CNN.
She is scheduled to testify before a Senate Commerce subcommittee on Tuesday.
In the interview, Haugen said that she worked on the Civic Integrity unit at the company. She said that after the election, the unit was dissolved, but “fast forward a couple months, we got the insurrection. And when they got rid of Civic Integrity, it was the moment where I was like, ‘I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.'”
She pinned part of the blame on the spread of misinformation and hate speech on how Facebook has chosen to design its algorithm.
Haugen said that they are “optimizing for content that gets engagement, or reaction. But its own research is showing that content that is hateful, that is divisive, that is polarizing, it’s easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions.”
“Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money,” she said.
‘SNL’ Rips Facebook Whistleblower Hearing & Senators’ Digital Ignorance In Cold Open
“Now exactly how big is this algorithm?” asked the tech dinosaur Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, as played by Saturday Night Live’s Kyle Mooney, in the spot-on Congress mocking cold open of the NBC late Night spotlighting the Facebook whistleblower hearings this weekend. Straight out of C-Span and featuring a healthy dose of SNL’s regular cast and tossing in more than a few references to Netflix’s Squid Game in the Senator’s ignorance of the Mark Zuckerberg’s sprawling social media giant and Pete Davidson throwing back to My Space. Still, the skit wasn’t the sharpest portrayal of ex-Facebook employee Frances Haugen’s DC testimony this week.
The company told 60 Minutes that the work of the Civic Integrity unit was given to other units. But 60 Minutes showed how the platform was used to help organize the January 6 insurrection.
In the interview, Haugen said that “no one at Facebook is malevolent, but the incentives are misaligned, right?”
“Facebook makes more money when you consume more content,” she said. “People enjoy engaging with things that elicit an emotional reaction. And the more anger that they get exposed to, the more they interact and the more they consume.”
The company told 60 Minutes that “every day our teams have to balance protecting the right of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe and positive place. We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
The company also told 60 Minutes that “if any research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments and society would have solved them a long time ago.”
See the segment
Facebook Warns Anonymous Content Against “Recklessly” Proceeding With ‘An Ugly Truth’ TV Adaptation .
Facebook may be getting pelted of late by revelations from whistleblowers and damning internal documents made public, but the Mark Zuckerberg co-founded social media giant has decided to draw the line when it comes to the upcoming Doomsday Machine TV series. “AC can seek to create the Series without reliance on the absurd characterizations and false narratives of the Book,” said a letter sent this morning to Anonymous Content CEO Dawn Olmstead from GreenbergTraurig partner Mathew Rosengart on behalf of Facebook in regards to the Claire Foy starring project based on the bestseller An Ugly Truth.