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Like Edward Snowden, another whistleblower has revealed secret information concerning humans and national security. But, unlike Snowden, this story is all about Facebook that is the world’s most populous social media platform currently.
Frances Haugen, former product manager at Facebook, testified before American Senate on Tuesday and asked lawmakers to play their part in mitigating the calamities created from Facebook products.
She claimed in her Testimony that Facebook has always prioritized its benefits over users ’ health and safety, which is largely a result of its algorithms’ bouncing users towards dangerous posts.
She said before the subcommittee panel that Facebook algorithms are steering young users to keep them engaged in unsafe posts rather than beneficial content.
Haugen suggested a way forward for Facebook to make it a productive platform for customers but, she is uncertain about the acceptance of her opinion in this regard.
Shocking revelations of Frances Haugen:
She is the lady behind leaked documents of the Wall Street Journal series on the Facebook app that appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection on Tuesday.
Haugen first disclosed all the information in her interview to CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday. Citing thousands of confidential documents she took with her, Haugen named Facebook a more harmful platform than Google, Pinterest, and Yelp her former workplaces.
Frances Haugen stated, “I saw that Facebook repeatedly encountered conflicts between its profits and our safety,”
“Facebook consistently resolved those conflicts in favor of its profits. The result has been a system that amplifies division, extremism, and polarization — and undermining societies around the world.”
Haugen stated in a written form. Haugen believes that she has done nothing wrong, and she can see what is coming next. Lady thinks Facebook will try every maneuver to “destroy” her in the future.
“I came forward because I recognized a frightening truth: almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook, ”Haugen stated in written form. “The company’s leadership keeps vital information from the public, the U.S. government, its shareholders, and governments around the world.”
Haugen was heartbroken after the integration of the Civic integrity team into other departments of the company, and almost 75% of her previous team members resigned following this event in 2020. “Six months after the reorganization, we had lost faith that those changes were coming,” Ms. Haugen claimed.
Youngsters are vulnerable to Facebook content?
Facebook has already created a negative feeling among teenagers especially females regarding their inferior body via Instagram revealed a Journal previously.
lawmakers feel that Facebook should give up on its plan to launch a special version of Instagram for Young kids. contrary to that, Facebook mentioned research demonstrating positive impacts of products and accepted that a fraction of users had negative feelings.
Facebook claims that 80% of users voted in favor of its content however, Haugen thinks the remaining 20% means billions of people connected with Facebook globally.
“In the case of cigarettes, ‘only’ about 10% of people who smoke ever get lung cancer,” Haugen told. “So the idea that 20% of your users could be facing serious mental health issues and that’s not a problem is shocking.”
Adding further into her written statement Haugen said “Facebook understands that if they want to continue to grow, they have to find new users.”
Haugen further told that understaffing was giving access to Chinese and other foreigners on the platform. Chinese were found searching for ethnic minority Uyghur population on Facebook that makes it a critical national security concern.
Facebook Officials “rebuffed” Haugen’s blames:
“Today, a Senate Commerce subcommittee held a hearing with a former product manager at Facebook who worked for the company for less than two years, had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives — and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question,” said Lena Pietsch, Facebook’s director while questioning Haugen’s credibility.“We don’t agree with her characterization of the many issues she testified about.
Despite all this, we agree on one thing; it’s time to begin to create standard rules for the internet” she added, “We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being, and mental health.”
CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the email on Facebook. “It’s difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives. At the most basic level, I think most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.”
Haugen discourages Breaking-up Facebook. But why?
Lawmakers suggested breaking up Facebook following her testimony but Haugen was not convinced. She said, “If you split Facebook and Instagram apart, it’s likely most of the advertising dollars go to Instagram, while Facebook continues to be this Frankenstein.” she went on saying “systems will still exist.”
Senators condemning Facebook :
What documents would you demand from Facebook if you were a lawmaker? Haugen answered “Any research on the use, the addictiveness of product, and what Facebook knows about parents’ lack of knowledge of the platform.”
Haugen said only Facebook is familiar with the procedure used to customize feeds for users. “Mark Zuckerberg ought to be looking at himself in the mirror today,” Frances Haugen said. “And yet rather than taking responsibility and showing leadership, Mr. Zuckerberg is going sailing.”
Senator Mike Lee proposed three fake advertisements on Facebook before the senate and told everyone that these ads were found promoting atrophy. The senator asked about the approval procedure of these ads and Haugen replied that algorithms are to be held responsible.
Will this testimony yield profitable Legislation?
People are not sure whether Haugen’s claims will provide new laws in terms of transparency. Even Haugen herself believes that Right now, no one can force Facebook to release data.”
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Matthew Schettenhelm stated in his article “social-media companies have free-speech rights that generally protect their ability to air and even amplify distasteful messages and misinformation.” he thinks legislators will ask for hands-on facebook data and nothing more.