facebook chooses 'profit over safety,' says whistleblower

Whistleblower has revealed her identity on Sunday in news show, and accused Facebook for choosing "profit over safety"

The whistleblower who shared a accumulation of documents claiming that the social media major, Facebook knew that its products were fueling hate and harming children's mental health.

 

The whistleblower has revealed her identity on Sunday in news show, and accused Facebook for choosing "profit over safety."

 

A data scientist from Iowa, Frances Haugen, 37 years, who has worked for companies including Google and Pinterest has said in an interview with CBS news show "60 Minutes" that the social media major Facebook was "substantially worse" than anything she had seen ever before.

 

Frances Haugen said that the giant social media company, Facebook has shown that it chooses profit over safety over and over again.

 

Haugen said, "It is subsidizing, it is paying for its profits with our safety."

 

She said that the present version of Facebook is tearing societies apart and has caused ethnic violence around the world.

 

The world's largest digital platform has been embroiled in a storm brought about by Frances Haugen.

 

Haugen as an unnamed whistleblower has shared documents with United States lawmakers and The Wall Street Journal that detailed how giant social media platform knew its products also including Instagram were harming young children, especially around body image.

 

The United States Senator Richard Blumenthal has responded in a statement to the interview ahead of Frances Haugen's appearance to testify in Congress in the coming week,"Facebook's actions make clear that we cannot trust it to police itself. We must consider stronger oversight."

 

Haugen in the same show has explained how the News Feed algorithm of the platform is optimized for content that gets a reaction.

 

Haugen added that even the research of the social media platform shows that it is "easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions."

 

She said that social networking giant realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, users will spend less time on it, as well as will click on fewer advertisements and the company would make less money.

 

Haugen said that the giant social media platform has realized the danger during the 2020 United States presidential election, that such content presented and has turned on safety systems to reduce the same.

 

The data scientist Haugen said, but "as soon as the election was over they turn them back off, or they change the settings back to what they were before, to prioritize growth over safety, and that really feels like a betrayal of democracy to me."

 

Haugen said, "No one at Facebook is malevolent,"

 

And, she also added that Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook did not set out to make a "hateful" social platform but, the incentives are "misaligned."

 

Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice-president of policy and global affairs has furiously pushed back at the assertion that its platforms are "toxic" for teens.

 

This came after the lawmakers grilled the the social network giant over its impact on the mental health of young users.

 

Frances Haugen noted that the social network was used by some of the organizers of the US Capitol riot on January 6.

 

During an appearance on CNN, vice-president Clegg has dismissed the link with the violence.

 

Facebook's vice-president told the broadcaster, CNN, "I think the assertion (that) January 6th can be explained because of social media, I just think that's ludicrous."

 

He also added that it was "false comfort" to believe the technology was driving US deepening political polarization.

 

The New York Times has reported on Saturday that Facebook's policy and global affairs vice-president tried to prevent the effect of Haugen's interview by penning a 1,500 word memo to the staff alerting them of the "misleading" allegations.

 

Facebook has encountered criticism, Clegg has acknowledged that people with pre-existing issues may not benefited from the use of social media.

 

Vice president of Clegg also debated in an explosive Wall Street Journal series that the social media giant's own research has warned of the damage that photo-sharing app Instagram can do to teens' well-being.

 

Clegg told the broadcaster Facebook's research would continue and added, "It's simply not borne out by our research or anybody else's that Instagram is bad or toxic for all teens."

 

The giant social networking platform after facing pressure has earlier announced it would suspend but not abandon the development of a version of Instagram meant for users younger than the age of 13.

India Scanner News Network

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