Whistleblower: Further allegations against Facebook

Status: 23.10.2021 10:24 a.m.

Another ex-employee of Facebook complained about the way the group handled problematic content. The new allegations are now apparently bringing the US Securities and Exchange Commission into play.

According to a report, the US Internet company Facebook is faced with allegations by another ex-employee after the allegations of the whistleblower Frances Haugen. The informant, who was not named, has lodged a complaint with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, reported the Washington Post. Accordingly, he accuses Facebook of having put its own business interests in the foreground when dealing with problematic content.

“In the meantime we are printing money”

In his complaint, the whistleblower reported on internal processes in 2017, when Facebook was faced with the question of how to deal with the controversy surrounding alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. “It will be a flash in the pan,” said one of Facebook’s PR managers, Tucker Bounds. “Some MPs will get angry. And in a few weeks they will be busy with something else. In the meantime, we are printing money in the basement and we are fine.”

According to the Washington Post report, the whistleblower accuses Facebook managers of regularly obstructing the fight against disinformation and other problematic content because they were afraid of annoying then US President Donald Trump or of deterring users.

“Fueling divisions and weakening democracy”

Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who in 2019 acted as a team leader in the “Civic Integrity” unit against false information on Facebook, had accused her ex-employer of putting her own profits above the safety of people. “I believe that Facebook’s products harm children, fuel divisions and weaken our democracy,” she said at a hearing in the US Congress in early October. She cited hate speech and hate postings in particular as one of the main problems with which the company was too lax.

Facebook had decidedly rejected the allegations at the time and assured them that they would take action against any user account that causes damage on the platform. The company did not want to abandon the allegation that hate postings were gaining the upper hand on Facebook: “The prevalence of hate speech has declined for three quarters in a row since we started reporting on it.”

Another whistleblower accuses Facebook

Marcus Schuler, ARD Los Angeles, October 23, 2021 10:25 am


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