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Whistleblower: Facebook chose profit over public safety

Facebook Whistleblower
Posted at 12:27 PM, Oct 04, 2021

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook prematurely turned off safeguards designed to thwart misinformation and rabble rousing after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in last year's elections in a moneymaking move that a company whistleblower alleges contributed to the deadly Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol.

The whistleblower, former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, also asserted during an exclusive interview that aired Sunday on CBS' "60 Minutes" that a 2018 change to Facebook's news feeds contributed to more divisiveness and ill will in a network ostensibly created to bring people closer together.

According to the Associated Press, Haugen previously worked at Google and Pinterest before coming to work for Facebook in 2019.

Haugen said she after losing a friend to online conspiracy theories, she requested to work in an area of the company that fights misinformation, the AP reported.

“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,”Haugen said during her "60 Minutes" interview.

After the election, Haugen said Facebook dissolved a unit on civic integrity where she had been working, which led her to the realization that she didn't "trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.”

Haugen is set to testify before Congress this week.

Facebook contends Haugen's allegations are misleading and insists that there is no evidence to support the premise that it's the primary cause of social polarization.