Frances Haugen, Facebook Whistleblower reveals herself in a CBS 60 minute video on Sunday night. She caused a firestorm, after the release of Facebook’s internal documents detailing how the company failed to address the negative effects of its social media products.
Who is Frances Haugen the Facebook Whistleblower?
Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist who joined Facebook in 2019. She worked at Facebook as a product manager on the Civic Integrity team. Her goal was to improve how Facebook deals with misinformation after losing a friend due to conspiracy theories online. Later she resigned in April 2021 from Facebook and leaked a massive trove of Facebook’s internal documents and research to the Wall Street Journal.
Earlier she worked with other tech giants such as Google and Pinterest, according to her LinkedIn profile.
What did she say in her Video?
In her 60 minutes video Haugen told correspondent Scott Pelley, “Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on fewer ads, they’ll make less money”
She further said the situation at Facebook was “substantially worse” than anything she’s seen before when it came to putting user engagement ahead of the safety of its products.
Earlier she submitted tens of thousands of Facebook documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to Congress. She also has been the primary source of Journal’s Facebook Files stories last month that exposed how Facebook’s algorithm fosters anger to drive engagement, how it favors high-profile users, and how Instagram made nearly one-third of teenage girls who use it feel worse about their bodies.
Her identity was also confirmed by Jeff Horwitz, the Journal tech reporter behind the Facebook Files stories after she revealed herself on the show.
An investigation has been launched by the Senate into the controversial internal research and how Facebook tried to confuse it. She will testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security on Tuesday.