Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has called on the government to regulate social media–and the left is following suit.
In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Haugen, a data scientist and former Facebook employee who worked to combat so-called “misinformation,” said the platform bears some responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot.
“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” Haugen said. She will testify before Congress this week and hopes that her testimony will propel the government to put regulations in place to govern Facebook.
After the interview, some media personalities on the left called on the government to force Facebook to censor more content in the name of “safety” and public health.
"The problem is this is the biggest platform. This is the platform where people get their news across the globe," Kara Swisher, podcast host and social commentator, told MSNBC. "They're the biggest and therefore, they have to be the best at safety. Not 'we tried.'"
“It's incredible that Mark Zuckerberg hasn't addressed the Whistleblower's damning reveals,” New York Times tech reporter Cecilia Kang tweeted. “When there is a crisis - plane crash, product defect - a CEO always addresses employees and the public. Where is Zuckerberg?”
“No one at Facebook is malevolent,” Haugen said. “But the incentives are misaligned, right? Like, Facebook makes more money when you consume more content. People enjoy engaging with things that elicit an emotional reaction. And the more anger that they get exposed to, the more they interact and the more they consume.”
Haugen alleged that her mission became clear after she lost a friend to online “misinformation.”
"Misinformation, angry content, is enticing to people and keeps them on the platform," she said.
"One of the consequences of how Facebook is picking out that content today, is that it's optimizing for content that gets engagement, a reaction, but its own research is showing that content that is hateful, that is divisive, that is polarizing, it's easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions," she 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 less ads, they'll make less money."
For its part, Facebook said Haugen’s comments were “misleading.”
“Social media has had a big impact on society in recent years, and Facebook is often a place where much of this debate plays out,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP of policy and public affairs told Facebook employees in a Friday memo. “But what evidence there is simply does not support the idea that Facebook, or social media more generally, is the primary cause of polarization.”
“Even with the most sophisticated technology, which I believe we deploy, even with the tens of thousands of people that we employ to try and maintain safety and integrity on our platform,” Clegg later told CNN, “we’re never going to be absolutely on top of this 100% of the time.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Facebook headquarters at 1-650-308-7300 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to provide clarity on “hate speech,” rules that seem to be applied inconsistently. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.