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|Did Mark Zuckerberg Shut Facebook & Instagram Down Himself? Maybe! Here's Why by V7place(m): 7:58am On Oct 05, 2021|
[b]How does the biggest online company in the world shut down for hours; with no end in sight?
Easy- if the CEO ordered it.
Or to preempt US Government crackdown of its operations?
Just on Sunday the biggest current affairs program in the US: CBSs "60 Minutes" aired a piece on a Facebook whistle blower who alleged that Facebook was putting profits above safety; that teenagers were going suicidal over Instagram posts which Facebook did nothing about.
By Monday morning, Facebook/Instagram were the number one stories on all channels.
Facebook had known for over a month that a whistle blower had gone to the government with allegations; but no one including Facebook knew who it was except that the individual had leaked thousands of pages to Congress and the media.
On Sunday evening, the whistle blower came forward: it was
Frances Haugen, a former Product Manager with Facebook.
He allegations were stunning. Hours later Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp all went down in the world's biggest online blackout affecting billions of users.
Coincidence? Very unlikely.
More like Mark had everything shut down, things fixed, things scrubbed before the Feds came knocking AGAIN!
Here are 5 Major Allegations from the Whistle blower as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle from the 60 Minutes interview.[/b]
The whistle-blower whose revelations about Facebook have set off shock waves from Silicon Valley to Washington stepped into the spotlight this weekend.
Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, revealed her identity Sunday on “60 Minutes” as the person who leaked tens of thousands of internal research documents to lawmakers, regulators and the media. She said they showed the social media giant was concealing information about its risks to users, and about its progress in combating hate and misinformation.
The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public, and what was good for Facebook, and Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests like making more money,” she said in the interview.
She was also confirmed as the source for the Wall Street Journal’s recent investigative series based on the documents, called The Facebook Files.
Here’s what we know about Haugen and her allegations regarding Facebook:
Who is the whistle-blower?
Haugen, 37, is a former product manager at Facebook. Her personal website says she is originally from Iowa City and studied electrical and computer engineering at Olin College, then received her M.B.A. from Harvard University.
She worked at Google, Pinterest and Yelp before landing at Facebook. In the “60 Minutes” interview, she said she was recruited by the company in 2019 and said she would take the job only if she could work against misinformation. She was assigned to the civic integrity team.
In the “60 Minutes” interview, Haugen said the root of the problem at Facebook started in 2018 when it changed its algorithms that pick and choose what users see. “Its own research is showing that content that is hateful, that is divisive, that is polarizing — it’s easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions,” she said.
Haugen’s own turning point, she told “60 Minutes,” came when Facebook dissolved her civic integrity team after the 2020 presidential election, and turned off safety systems that were used to reduce misinformation. She said she then realized, “I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.”
In response, according to the New York Times, she decided to copy reams of internal Facebook documents, taking them first to John Tye, founder of the legal nonprofit Whistleblower Aid. She shared many of them with the Wall Street Journal, as well as with some lawmakers, and has submitted them in a complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
She submitted her resignation in April and left Facebook in May, according to the Wall Street Journal.
What are her allegations about Facebook?
Haugen has said the internal documents shed light on a number of allegedly harmful practices by Facebook. Among them:
• Misleading the public: According to “60 Minutes,” Haugen’s complaints say the internal documents show that Facebook knows its platform amplifies hate, violence and political unrest, but that it conceals that from its users. She also told the program that she believes Facebook’s reports on its regulation of COVID-19 misinformation and hate speech are not fully transparent.
• Misleading investors: Haugen’s complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission also allege Facebook has deceived investors by making public statements that don’t square with its internal actions, according to the New York Times.
• Harm to teens: The documents also revealed that Facebook knew that Instagram, which it also owns, is harmful to teen girls. These revelations were published in a story by the Wall Street Journal last month.
• Affecting global societies: Haugen said the version of Facebook that exists today is “tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.” The “60 Minutes” report cites 2018’s genocide in Myanmar as an example; Facebook has acknowledged it failed to prevent its platform from being used to “foment division and incite offline violence” there.
• Contributing to political polarization that led to the Capitol riots: Haugen told “60 Minutes” that the dissolving of her civic integrity team and turning off misinformation safety systems contributed to the U.S. Capitol riot in January. She called those actions a “betrayal of democracy.”
How has Facebook responded?
Lena Pietsch, Facebook’s director of policy communications, issued a statement in response to the “60 Minutes” interview. In it, she said allowing hateful content on its platforms is “bad for business” and that the company has “invested ... heavily in safety and security.”
“We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content,” the statement reads. “To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
Facebook executive Nick Clegg on Sunday said blaming the Capitol riot on social media was “ludicrous.”
“The responsibility for the violence on January 6, the insurrection that day, is squarely on the people who inflicted the violence and those who encouraged them,” Clegg, the company’s vice president for global affairs, said in a CNN interview.
What comes next?
Haugen will appear Tuesday at a Senate subcommittee to discuss approaches to updating children’s privacy regulations and other online consumer protection laws. According to the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security’s website, Haugen will share insights on Instagram’s effects on teenagers, and how the social media outlet handles children who use it. The hearing, scheduled for 7 a.m. PDT, will be livestreamed at www.commerce.senate.gov.
A British parliamentary committee is also scheduled to hear from Haugen this month, the New York Times reported, citing Tye. She will then appear at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, and meet with European policymakers in Brussels in November.
A federal antitrust lawsuit against Facebook is ongoing. Also, the company has said it will submit documents requested by a congressional panel investigating the role of major social media platforms in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Kellie Hwang is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @KellieHwang
Kellie Hwang is the engagement reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle. Before returning to the Bay Area, she held roles as transportation reporter and trending news reporter at the IndyStar in Indianapolis. Previously, Kellie covered dining news and trends, visual arts, events and nightlife for the Arizona Republic, and freelanced for the former Contra Costa Times. Kellie also serves as co-director of the Asian American Journalists Association Features Forum. She is a University of Washington graduate.
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