NEW YORK (AP) — A data scientist who was revealed Sunday as the Facebook whistleblower says that whenever there was a conflict between the public good and what benefited the company, the social media giant would choose its own interests.
Frances Haugen was identified in a “60 Minutes” interview Sunday as the woman who anonymously filed complaints with federal law enforcement that the company’s own research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation.
Haugen, who worked at Google and Pinterest before joining Facebook in 2019, said she had asked to work in an area of the company that fights misinformation, since she lost a friend to online conspiracy theories.
“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” she said. Haugen, who will testify before Congress this week, said she hopes that by coming forward the government will put regulations in place to govern the company’s activities.
Her name is Frances Haugen. That is a fact that Facebook has been anxious to know since last month when an anonymous former employee filed complaints with federal law enforcement. The complaints say Facebook’s own research shows that it amplifies hate, misinformation and political unrest—but the company hides what it knows. One complaint alleges that Facebook’s Instagram harms teenage girls. What makes Haugen’s complaints unprecedented is the trove of private Facebook research she took when she quit in May. The documents appeared first, last month, in the Wall Street Journal. But tonight, Frances Haugen is revealing her identity to explain why she became the Facebook whistleblower.