Facebook ‘prefers profit over security’ whistle-blower

John Tiye, the founder of Weisslelow Aid, a law firm that represents people who want to expose possible violations, met with a woman who claims to have worked on Facebook this spring.

The woman told Teye and her team something interesting – she had found tens of thousands of pages of internal documents from the world’s largest social network. She repeatedly called for legal protection and access to confidential information. Mr. Tiye, who understood the seriousness of the woman’s “within minutes,” agreed to represent her and call her “Sian.”

“She’s a very brave person and she is taking personal risks to hold a trillion-dollar company accountable,” she said.

On Sunday, Francis Hawgen described the whistle on Facebook as “Shawn.” Before you left in May, Haugen, a product manager who worked for a civic misinformation group on social media for two years, used the documents he collected to expose how much he knew about the damage caused by Facebook. Legislators, regulators and news media.

In an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Hawgen, 37, said she was shocked by what she saw on Facebook. She says the company has often put its own interests ahead of the public interest. So she decided to flip through the pages of Facebook’s internal research and do something about it.

“I’ve seen a lot of social media and it’s worse than I’ve ever seen on Facebook,” said Hawgen. “Facebook has repeatedly shown that it prefers profit over security,” he added.

Ms. Hawgen provided several documents to the Wall Street Journal, which began publishing the findings last month. Revelations: Facebook has been criticized by lawmakers, regulators and the public, including the fact that Facebook is aggravating the issue of body image in adolescence and the existence of a two-tier justice system.

Ms. Haugen complained to the Securities and Exchange Commission that Facebook had misled investors with public statements that were inconsistent with its internal affairs. And as a legislator, she spoke with Senec Richard Bluemental, Connecticut Democrat and Tennessee Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn, and sub-sections of the documents.

Haugen’s focus is on growing bright. On Tuesday, Congress is scheduled to witness the impact of Facebook on young users.

Ms. Hawgen’s actions were a sign of how Facebook was leaking. As the company grew to more than 63,000 employees, some were dissatisfied with data privacy, misinformation, and hate speech.

A.D. In 2018, outraged former consulting firm Cambridge Analytics employee Christopher Willie set the stage for those leaks. Mr Willie told The New York Times, The London Observer and The Guardian that Cambridge Analytics had misappropriated Facebook data to build voter profiles without users’ consent.

Since then, many of his Facebook employees have spoken out. At the end of the year, Facebook staff provided The Times and Bizfeid News with newsletters and planning documents. In mid-2020, a controversial post from President Donald J. Trump took a virtual walk by dissenters and sent more inside information to the media.

I think Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Last year there were more flows than we all wanted.” He spoke at a meeting With staff in June 2020.

Facebook has tried to backfire on Ms. Haugen. On Friday, Facebook vice president of policy and world affairs Nick Craig sent a 1,500-word memo to 60-minute staff, calling the allegations “misleading.” On Sunday, Mr. Craig appeared on CNN to defend the company, the forum reflecting “good, bad and bad humanity” and trying to “minimize, reduce and highlight the good.”

Facebook did not speak directly to Hawgen on Sunday. “The company has made significant improvements to curb the spread of misinformation and harmful content,” said Lina Peach, a spokeswoman for the company. We encourage bad content to point out and we do nothing wrong.

In preparation to express herself, Ms. Hawgen and her team set up a Twitter account for her and her personal website. On the website, Ms. Hawgen has been described as a “public relations advocate for social media.”

Haugen, a native of Iowa, studied electrical and computer engineering at Elin College and obtained a MBA from Harvard, the website said. She then worked on algorithms in Google, Pinterest and Yelp. She joined Facebook in June 2019. There, she dealt with issues of democracy and misinformation, and was working on a response, the website reported.

Ms. Hawgen’s complaint to the SEC was based on a documentary and contained several cover letters, seven of which were obtained by the Times. Each letter lists a different topic – such as Facebook, which disseminated misinformation after the 2020 election and the effects of its products on the mental health of teens – and the company made “material and misleading statements in statements to investors and future investors.”

The letters compared public statements and statements to Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior Facebook executives to the company’s internal research and documentation. In a cover letter, Hawgen said Facebook had contributed to election fraud and the January 6 riots in the US capital.

In the run-up to the 2020 elections, Haugen’s documents tell a different story: In fact, he knew that Facebook would promote such malicious content on its algorithms and platforms, and was unable to deploy internally recommended or permanent defenses.

Regarding Facebook, Mr. Tiye said he has been in touch with the CEC’s whisper office and executive division. The SEC typically provides organizational advice to protect against retaliation. In addition, the agency will provide 10 to 30 percent rewards for whistle lovers if their recommendations take effective action that could result in a fine of more than $ 1 million.

The SEC did not respond to a request for comment.

After filing a complaint with the SEC, Ms. Hawgen and her legal team spoke to Mr. Bloomington and Ms. Blackburn, Mr. Thai. Legislators have held a hearing on child protection online, focusing on how companies such as Facebook collect information through apps such as Instagram.

In August, Mr. Bloomstein and Ms. Blackburn sent a letter to Zuckerberg informing them of the impact of the Facebook services on children’s mental health. Facebook has responded to letters with a negative response to internal research, reflecting the positive impact of the apps on children.

But according to Hawugen’s documents, Facebook researchers have done a lot of research on the effects of the products on teens, Mr Bloomingal said in an interview last week. He said the company was engaged in “covert and fraudulent” activities.

In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Bloominghal said, “They have shown that they are trustworthy, courageous and persuasive when they first visit my office at the end of the summer.”

Some of Hawugen’s documents have been distributed to attorneys general in California, Vermont, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Nebraska.

However, he said the documents were not shared with the Federal Trade Commission, which has filed a counter-terrorism complaint against Facebook. In a whispering video on Sunday, Hawgen said she did not believe the demolition of Facebook would solve the company’s problems.

In the video, she says, “The path ahead is about transparency and governance.” “It’s not about destroying Facebook.”

She spoke to lawmakers in France and Britain, as well as to members of the European Parliament. She is scheduled to appear before the British Parliament this month. Following this, Mr. Tiye said he will meet with policymakers at the Summit, the Lisbon Technology Conference and the European Union in Brussels.

On Sunday, the GoFundMe page created by Ms. Hawgen was also released live. The group set a goal of raising $ 10,000, citing Facebook as “unlimited resources and lawyers.” Within 30 minutes, 18 donors donated $ 1,195. The fundraising goal soon rose to $ 50,000.

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