Thousands of secret documents have been leaked from Facebook
For almost a month, The Wall Street Journal has been releasing disclosure materials about the secrets of Facebook. All data was transmitted anonymously. However, now the author of the leaks decided to reveal her identity and explain her actions. An employee who has worked in many Silicon Valley companies believes that Facebook is the worst of social networks. The main thing from her interview with CBS – in the material “Gazeta.Ru”.
Increasing pressure on Facebook
The informer, who leaked thousands of secret documents used strictly within the company, revealed herself on the CBS 60 Minutes program . The author of the leaks, named Frances Haugen, worked as the lead manager for the fight against citizen disinformation.
In an interview, she said that during her tenure, Facebook regularly proved that it prefers profit over the safety of its users.
“He literally pays for his profits with our safety,” Haugen explained. In an interview on television, the manager said that she had kept tens of thousands of pages of internal documents so that “no one could doubt that this is true.”
She also told the reporter that her lawyers have filed at least eight complaints with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. These communications say there are significant discrepancies between Facebook’s internal research and the company’s external statements.
Haugen noted that social media negatively affects people’s mental health and incites hatred.
This interview is a continuation of the recent increased pressure on Facebook. A previously anonymous source, who turned out to be Haugen, provided The Wall Street Journal with classified documentation of the secrets of Mark Zuckerberg’s corporation . Thanks to them, among other things, it became known that inside Facebook and Instagram there is a multimillion-dollar group of VIP-users from politicians, activists and celebrities who are not subject to the standard rules for moderating the company’s content.
According to internal documents, there were at least 5.8 million Facebook VIPs in 2020.
In addition, Facebook experts in 2019 found that some social media groups advertised housekeeping services as a cover for selling women as slaves or sex workers. Also, Facebook was aware of the criminal activities that were committed using the social network in developing countries, but often did not act. These include cases of using Facebook to incite violence against ethnic minorities in Ethiopia, recruiting, training and paying employees for the Mexican cartel.
One of the most recent revelations was an internal Facebook study that indicated that the social network Instagram can negatively affect young users. The biggest harm the photo and video sharing service inflicted on young girls. The documents indicated that the social network pushed them towards suicidal and depressive thoughts.
Haugen, 37, is a fairly well-known personality in Silicon Valley. She previously worked for IT corporations such as Google , Pinterest and Yelp. She quit Facebook in May.
She specializes in developing algorithms and other tools that determine what content will be shown to users.
“I saw a lot of social networks, and everything on Facebook was much worse than anything I’ve seen before,” the specialist explained.
She noted that she began working at Facebook to protect the social network from attempts to interfere in the elections through her platform. However, over time, she realized the reluctance of Mark Zuckerberg’s company to correct its shortcomings.
According to Haugen, some of her colleagues shared a similar opinion. However, the specialist decided that if the situation cannot be corrected from the inside, then it is necessary to complain to external structures.
“On Facebook, I have faced a conflict of interest over and over again between what is good for society and what is good for Facebook,” Haugen explained. According to her, the social network has always chosen to optimize its algorithms to advance its own interests in order to make more money.
Haugen feared that she would be caught collecting data, since the service records all the actions of employees in the workplace, and the data being studied was not related to her duties.
On the evening of May 17, the last working day, she left a farewell message in the Workplace search bar to explain her motives. “I have no hatred for Facebook. I love Facebook. I want to save her, ”Haugen wrote.
“Every day, our teams must balance between defending the right of billions of people to openly express themselves and keeping our platform safe and positive,” said Facebook spokesman Lena Pitch.
She noted that the company is making efforts to combat the spread of misinformation and malicious content.
“To say that we encouraged bad content, knew about it and did nothing is simply not true,” said the head of the press service.
To protect Facebook’s reputation, one of the company’s top managers, head of global politics, Nick Clegg, gave an interview to CNN . In it, he also defended Facebook’s study of how Instagram affects the mental health of adolescents.
“Our job is to mitigate the bad, diminish it, and enhance the good. And this is what this study is about, ”explained the leader. By contrast, he felt that Facebook was doing more than anyone else in the industry.
Haugen intends to continue to fight the current policies of the former employer. On October 5, she plans to testify about the situation on Facebook at a hearing in the US Senate.
Facebook’s global security chief Antigone Davis assured US senators that the company would not retaliate against Haugen for speaking out. However, she left unanswered the question whether the company could prosecute her for leaking internal documents published in The Wall Street Journal .