Frances Haugen is a data scientist and technologist. She is also an advocate for accountability & transparency in social media. In 2021, Haugen disclosed tens of thousands of Facebook’s internal documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ’s investigation included examination of exemptions for high-profile users, impacts on youth, the impacts of its 2018 algorithm changes, weaknesses in the response to human trafficking and drug cartels, vaccine misinformation, and more. After disclosing her identity as the Facebook whistleblower on 60 Minutes, Haugen discussed the Facebook program known as Civic Integrity, which was intended to curb misinformation and other threats to election security. Haugen has said that many of the things she repeatedly saw at Facebook were “conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook.”
In this podcast, Frances Haugen explains why she decided to blow the whistle on Facebook. She details the ways in which the social media platform hurts children and damages democracy, and how the company ignored the harmful effects of its platform for the sake of financial interests. Haugen also talks about her efforts to pass legislation to better protect the public from social media.
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