Last fall, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen went public with thousands of internal documents revealing the social media giant’s dirty laundry. In those documents, it came to light that Facebook knew its product could be harmful to younger users but did nothing about it, as well as the fact that the company failed to stop the spread of hate speech in fragile foreign countries. Since these bombshells dropped, Haugen has been on an international media tour to ensure users everywhere know about the risks that Facebook poses. And this week, she said there’s only one way for the company to truly fix itself — and that’s for founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down.
Facebook made a change to its algorithm in 2018 to prioritize content that provoked a reaction from users. Additionally, extreme content got the most distribution in foreign countries, causing hate speech and other offensive content to spread faster. And according to Haugen, when she brought up this issue to Zuckerberg, he brushed it off.
“The fact that he [Zuckerberg] doubled down on the metaverse when I brought up issues around genocide instead of actually making these systems safe, I think that’s a dereliction of duty,” she said.
She also went on to say that the Facebook leader is surrounded by yes men, and is rarely challenged to do better. Of course, Zuckerberg is the majority shareholder of Facebook, and will never give up his creation voluntarily. However, it’s eye-opening that a former Facebook insider believes an action this dramatic is required to fix the company’s privacy and safety woes.
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