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Facebook Employee Goes Public Over The Social Network's Lack Of Regulations And Promotion Of Harmful Content

A former Facebook employee has recently made her reservations over working for the company public, stating that the platform benefits from perpetuating hate.

The claims come from Frances Haugen, a data scientist who previously worked with Facebook as a product manager. Haugen's work led her to the social network's Civic Integrity group, focusing on risks to elections (misinformation being a popular brand of risk). This would place her in a position where noting hateful rhetoric and propaganda would be quite the common occurrence. Accordingly, it also places her in a position to note what action is taken against it. And if Haugen is to be believed, there isn't that much of it in the first place.

Frances Haugen's complaints against the platform, stated in an interview with the CBS show 60 Minutes, list a number of issues that Facebook has helped worsen due to either direct involvement or complacency. Examples listed include hate speech, eating disorders, mental health and suicide, & making decisions that are best for the company as opposed to the community. To Haugen's credit, her rather scathing exposé is accompanied by expressions of sympathy for CEO Mark Zuckerberg who, in her words, never sought to create such a platform. However, it is his choices that allow hateful and harmful content to get such a high reach across the board.

Needless to say, Haugen's previous employers are none too happy about her statements. A statement issued to Business Insider by Facebook's director of policy communications, Lena Pietsch, actively opposes the notion that Facebook does nothing to combat bad content. Pietsch's statements emphasized all of the work developers and other team members put into making sure that the social network's billions of users can interact with each other and cohabit safely, while also maintaining their right to free speech.
As of yet, Frances Haugen has made multiple internal documents she acquired over her work tenure public, sharing them with the press. That isn't the end of it, however, as Haugen's lawyers are firing off against Facebook for falsifying certain aspects of public information. She is also planning on testifying in front of Congress this week, hoping to impose more sturdy regulations on the platform. Which, if we're being honest, is quite the step for a disgruntled employee to take. Perhaps Frances Haugen truly does want nothing more than the social network being a safer place than she left it.



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