Former Facebook data scientist Francis Haugen has accused the social network of giving priority to profit over security. He said he believes strict government oversight can address issues ranging from harm to children to inciting political violence to promoting misinformation. Let us know what else he said.
Who is Haugen?
Haugen, a 37-year-old data specialist from Iowa, holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s in business from Harvard. Before working at Facebook, he worked for 15 years at tech companies including Google, Pinterest and Yelp. Francis Haugen was appointed on the post of ‘Product’ manager to prevent any activity influencing the election on Facebook.
Haugen condemns Facebook
Haugen strongly condemned Facebook while presenting his case before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection. He alleged that internal research had revealed that some teenagers were harmed, but despite this Instagram failed to make changes and did not stand up to the public fight against spreading hatred and misinformation.
Photocopy was already taken out
Before leaving his job at the company’s social distancing unit, Haugen had copied thousands of pages of internal research documents that substantiate Haugen’s allegations. Haugen also offered ideas on how Facebook’s social media platforms could be made secure.
‘Preference is given to gain more than security’
Haugen attributed most of this to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as the company’s ‘profit-over-safety’ strategy, but he also sympathized with Facebook’s dilemma.
Haugen said, “Facebook’s platforms are hurting teenagers, fueling division and undermining our democracy. The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but they don’t make the necessary changes.” Because they have given priority to their benefit over the people,” he said, adding that Congress’s action is necessary. They cannot deal with this crisis without your help.
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