An employee of Facebook that became a top whistleblower on the Social Media giant, has come forward. In giving an interview on 60 minutes on CBS, the employee made a number of massive allegations..here are 4 of them.
Having services as Former product manager of the vivid misinformation team, the whistleblower has been identified as Frances Haugen, 37.
Claim 1: Facebook Has Made A Priority Of ‘Growth Over Safety’
Ms Haugen has made a number of massive allegations against the Tech giant. Her first claim that we will examine is the policy that Facebook puts safety behind it’s growth objectives. Although it is hard to find any successful company that doesn’t prioritise growth, Haugen claims that safety takes a back seat to that goal.
What evidence does Haugen have to back up her claim? Apparently, before leaving Facebook, Ms Haugen took documents and memos that corroborated her claims. These documents have been released by the Wall Street Journal over 3 weeks, and have been coined as ‘the Facebook files’.
Claim 2: Facebook Has Differing Standards According To Influence
The 2nd claim that Haugen has made is that Facebook doesn’t treat users equally. She claims that people of influence, a term that would include politicians, celebs, and other high profile users, were treated more favourably by the Tech giant. How so?
Moderation has come to the fore in recent times, and rightly so. However Haugen claims that people of power were not subject to the same standards of moderation as your ‘average Joe’. The allegation must be, therefore, that Facebook looks after those who look after it.
Claim 3: Instagram Exacerbates Teenagers’ Angst
However, the claim says that this is understating the issue.he allegation takes this issue further. Haugen’s claim is that Facebook knows full well that Instagram has actually become a ‘toxic’ place for teenagers to use. Despite knowing this, Facebook is allegedly not sharing the true gravity of the situation, according to Ms Haugen.
Whilst no one argues that teenagers, especially teenage girls, do have body image issues, the claim is being made that 32% of teenage girls feel that those negative feelings and emotions are made worse by Instagram.
Whilst any statistic of this kind is serious, Facebook counters that the leaks were designed to show it in a bad light, and that Instagram has a positive influence on teenagers, but that this fact is not being highlighted, presumably to enhance the sensationalism of the claim.
Claim 4: The Capitol Hill Violence Was ‘Fuelled’ By Facebook
Whilst Facebook does have ‘safety systems’ to prevent misinformation, Haugen claims that these are selectively used only. In this instance, her claim is that these systems were used for part of the US election, but not used to prevent the Capitol Hill Violence. Her is what she said on the matter:
“As soon as the election was over they turned them back off, or they changed the settings to what they were before, to prioritise growth over safety, and that really feels like a betrayal of democracy.”
What Effect Will This Have On Facebook
Should those claims be believed, or even seen as necessary to protect against, then Facebook’s goal of continued growth could be strongly impacted. This, in turn, could give a ‘leg up’ to competitors.