Result of whistleblower’s claim: not only Facebook knows that its platform encourages angry, hateful, clearly false content, but it is Priority That content to keep readers engaged. According to Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who works on civil integrity issues, the company is choosing “profit over security.”
“The gravity of this crisis demands that we move out of the previous regulatory framework,” she said in her opening statement on Tuesday.
She says Facebook’s leadership is the only one who knows how to make its platform secure, but that they have “put their astronomical advantage before the people.” They won’t do the right thing unless they are forced to.
Its revelations are significant because they are forcing the world to question how Facebook and other tech giants are being held accountable for their actions.
For its part, Facebook called many of the claims against the Journal’s reporting “misleading” and argued that its apps do more good than harm.
why facebook got pass
Facebook will not change with public pressure alone. If shame was enough, Facebook would have changed after the 2016 election. Or the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Or the 2020 election.
Even as dozens of major brands pulled their ads on Facebook’s loose approach to controlling hate speech, the company barely felt a ding. Its stock is up 54% since that time (while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is up more than 48% over the same period).
So it’s up to Washington to fix Facebook. And that’s no easy task, even if Congress isn’t hampered by its own internal strife and the threat of America’s first debt default.
Part of the problem with regulating Facebook is that lawmakers and regulators feel in the dark about a solution to a problem that society has never faced before. To borrow Haugen’s metaphor, it’s like the Department of Transportation writing down the rules of the road without knowing that seat belts are an option.
And according to Haugen, Facebook’s structure is uniquely questionable, even among tech companies.
“In other big tech companies like Google, any independent researcher can download a company’s search results from the Internet and write a paper about what they find,” she said. “But Facebook hides behind walls that prevent researchers and regulators from understanding the true dynamics of their systems.”
Why this could be a turning point
But let’s put on our rose-tinted glasses for a moment.
Needless to say, not a huge no for a publicly traded company.
sheer scale Thousands of pages, some of them attorney-client-privileged, from documents Haugen provided to journalists and members of Congress. Make her case unique, too – according to the Journal.
Those documents offer some of the most knock-your-hair-back evidence that Facebook is responsible for real, tangible harm, including worsening body-image issues among teens on Instagram, allowing misinformation to flourish and celebrities or others. Including allowing public figures to infringe on Facebook’s content. Rules, according to the Journal.
It’s Erin Brockovich’s moment—the big company knows it’s poisoning the water, but it’s turning a blind eye. Now the question: Will Congress do anything about it?
Credit : www.cnn.com