It’s no longer a secret that social media, and Facebook in particular, isn’t exactly a healthy use of our time. Not only does infinite scrolling seem to have similar effects on the brain as smoking and other addictive habits, but the way in which Facebook caters their content to keep you hooked is less than scrupulous.
The only problem has been that Facebook is far too powerful a player in the media space to ever admit such a thing.
That’s where one whistleblower is looking to change things.
The identity of the Facebook whistleblower who released tens of thousands of pages of internal research and documents — leading to a firestorm for the social media company in recent weeks — was revealed on “60 Minutes” Sunday night as Frances Haugen.
The 37-year-old former Facebook product manager who worked on civic integrity issues at the company says the documents show that Facebook knows its platforms are used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and that the company has tried to hide that evidence.
Just how bad was it?
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook, and Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” Haugen told “60 Minutes.”
And for those doubting Haugen’s revelations:
“I’ve seen a bunch of social networks, and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’ve seen before,” Haugen said. “At some point in 2021, I realized I’m going to have to do this in a systemic way, that I’m going to have to get out enough [documents] that no one can question that this is real.”
Facebook has been racing to contain the fallout from this bombshell, but to no avail. Their stock has dropped nearly 5% as of noon on Monday.
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