Social media giant facebook’s problems seem to have no end as anonymous claims that the company put profits first. This claim echo with those of whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former product manager who claimed that the company spreads hate content in the name of profit.
The anonymous whistleblower said to The Washington post they had filed a complaint to the US financial regulator SEC (Security and Exchange Commission), accusing Facebook of knowingly hosting hate speech and illegal activity, even leaked documents shed further light on how the company failed to listen to internal concerns over election misinformation.
The person is a former member of facebook’s integrity team. He revealed how the social media platform does business and the differences between facebook’s public statements and internal decision-making in other areas.
The company said that the integrity.org project is to connect people in the “developing world” but had internal messaging that the goal was to give Facebook an impenetrable foothold and become the “sole source of news” so they could harvest data from untapped markets.
Facebook’s whistleblower released documents to multiple news outlets showing the company knows the harm it causes. All these claims have definitely prompted a major PR crisis for the social network, which is said to be readying plans for a rebrand.
“Yes, we’re a business and we make a profit, but the idea that we do so at the expense of people’s safety or well-being misunderstands where our own commercial interests lie. The truth is we’ve invested $13 billion and have over 40,000 people to do one job, keep people safe on Facebook.”
Erin McPike. A Facebook spokeswoman said that the article was “beneath the Washington post, which during the last five years would only repost stories after deep reporting with corroborating sources.”
Earlier Haugen in her testimony stated that Facebook at one point tweaked its algorithm to improve safety and decrease inflammatory content but abandoned the changes after the election, a decision that Haugen tied directly to the 6 January riot at the Capitol.
Facebook also disbanded the civic integrity team after the elections. “As soon as the election was over, they turned them back off or they changed the settings back to what they were before, to prioritize growth over safety and that really feels like a betrayal of democracy to me”, she said in her testimony on 5 October.
Haugen added Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on fewer ads and it will make less money”.
In one alleged incident – Tucker Bounds, a Facebook communication official said, “Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks they will move on to something else. Meanwhile we, are printing money in the basement and we are fine.” he dismissed concerns about the platform’s role in 2016 election manipulation.
All these conspiracy theories on the platform, particularly related to the 2020 US presidential election and all the controversies regarding hate content adds to the woes of Facebook and according to my views, these problems are not going to end soon. The company plans to diverge all these attentions away from the controversy towards its rebranding.