Daily column – 4th October 2021

On 3rd October 2021, Frances Haugen, the former product manager of Facebook had given an interview to 60 Minutes where she revealed quite a lot of details about the very popular social media application.

Frances Haugen, who had worked on the Facebook team of civic misinformation for about two years before she left in May, has said that she became very much concerned that Facebook was giving more priority to the engagement over the well being and safety of its users. She had made two big accusations about Facebook. Firstly, she has accused Facebook of contributing to the insurrection that happened in January at Capitol allowing the misinformation to spread. Secondly, she has accused Facebook of not taking any step despite knowing the fact that Instagram was harming the mental health of teenagers.

Francis Haugen got so much concerned about the matters that she even gathered some of the documents of the internal research and send them to the folks who could take some actions about it.

  • Frances Haugen had sent those documents to the Wall Street Journal, the journal has previously shared a couple of investigations namely the Facebook Files.
  • She also had sent the documents to the Security and Exchange Commission. The lawyers of Haugen have filed not less than 8 complaints that allege the misled investors of Facebook.

Facebook on their defence

The company has started to play offensive to contain the scandal’s fall out which is even bigger than the 2018’s controversy of the Cambridge Analytical data collection.

Nick Clegg, the VP of Policy and Global Affairs on Facebook had circulated a memo of 1500 words to the employees, trying to make an argument that the complaints made by Haugen are not true to what the data suggests. He wrote, “What evidence there is simply does not support the idea that Facebook, or social media more generally, is the primary cause of polarization”.

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