NewsWorld"We must act now": a whistleblower currying Facebook in...

“We must act now”: a whistleblower currying Facebook in front of the American Congress – LCI


CHARGES – Whistleblower Frances Haugen on Tuesday called on the US Congress to tighten the regulation of Facebook. She accuses the company of pushing adolescents to use its platforms more and more, at the risk of causing addiction.

Facebook again under fire from critics. In the aftermath of an unprecedented outage that impacted the social network for several hours, Mark Zuckerberg’s company is facing a stormy parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. At the helm: Frances Haugen. A whistleblower who wants to highlight the abuses of the group, and ask the US Congress to better regulate it.

We still have time to act. But you have to do it now“, urged Frances Haugen, engineer who left Facebook last May after two years in the company, before the members of the Senate Committee on Commerce. “Facebook should not be left free to choose growth, virality (…) at the expense of public safety. (…) They fund their profits with our safety.”

Two years spent in the company

The hearing of this 37-year-old computer scientist comes the day after a gigantic blackout, unprecedented in the history of the group, which decommissioned its four platforms, the social networks Facebook and Instagram, as well as the WhatsApp and Messenger messengers. .

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To support her allegations, the engineer relies on the two years she spent with the company and on the thousands of documents that she took with her last spring. Already presented, in part, by the Wall Street Journal in mid-September, they show that Facebook researchers highlighted the fact that a portion of teenage Instagram users are even less comfortable with their bodies than they were before.

Disinformation filters removed

Responding to questions from senators, Frances Haugen described a company whose priority is “to attract young users“while being aware that some of them develop an addiction to Instagram or react badly to its content. Regarding the version of Instagram for those under 13, a project officially suspended at the end of September, Frances Haugen explained that She did not see Facebook giving up. She also claims that Facebook removed, after the US presidential election, filters against disinformation to promote increased traffic to its platforms, which were then used by Internet users to prepare the rally January 6 in Washington, which led to the intrusion on Capitol Hill.

For the whistleblower, we must impose on Facebook more transparency and information sharing, with the help of a new regulator dedicated to internet giants, able to understand the complexity of these platforms. “I took the initiative (to testify) because I realized a frightening truth: hardly anyone outside of Facebook knows what is going on inside Facebook. Company management is hiding vital information to the public, the US government, its shareholders and governments around the world. “

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