Facebook whistleblower expected to slam former employer before US Congress

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Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will appear before the US Congress on Tuesday, where she is expected to slam her former employer as “one of the most urgent threats” facing the country and demand transparency about its operation to better regulate it.

Haugen, a former product manager for Facebook’s civil misinformation team, says the social media giant keeps its algorithms and operations secret.

“The crux of the issue is that no one understands Facebook’s disastrous choices better than Facebook, because only Facebook gets to see under the hood,” she said in written testimony ready for the hearing.

“Transparency is an important starting point for effective regulation,” she said in testimony to be given to a Senate Commerce subcommittee.

“On this basis, we can create sensible rules and standards to address consumer harm, illegal content, data protection, anti-competitive practices, algorithmic systems and more.”

On Monday, Facebook and its associated social media apps, WhatsApp and Instagram were off-line for almost six hours worldwide, in one of the worst outages to hit the platforms.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologises after a six-hour social media outage:

Haughan will tell the panel that Facebook executives routinely choose advantage over user safety.

“The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram secure and won’t make the necessary changes because they put their huge profits in front of the public,” she would say. “It’s not accountable to anyone.”

Haugen appeared this week to reveal that she was the one who used documents used in a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate hearing on Instagram’s damages to teenage girls.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

Journal stories show that the company contributed to online polarization when it made changes to its content algorithm; Failed to take steps to reduce vaccine hesitation; And was aware that Instagram harms teenage girls’ mental health.

Haugen said Facebook has also done little to prevent its platform from being used by people who plan violence.

Facebook was used by people planning mass killings in Myanmar and the US Capitol was attacked on January 6 by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, determined to toss up the 2020 election results.

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