Anonymous Facebook whistleblower says the company ‘prizes profits’ over combatting ‘hate speech

A brand new whistleblower affidavit submitted by a former Facebook worker accuses the social media big of prioritizing income over their due diligence to fight hate speech, misinformation and different threats to the public. 

The new allegations, submitted anonymously below penalty of perjury, echoed the claims made by fellow whistleblower Frances Haugen, who delivered a scathing testimony earlier than Congress earlier this month on Facebook’s ethical failings.

In the most dramatic line of the affidavit, the former worker anguished over Facebook’s lack of ability to behave rapidly to assist curb racial killings in Myanmar in 2017 as army officers used the website to unfold hate speech. 

‘I, working for Facebook, had been a celebration to genocide,’ the whistleblower wrote.  

The new allegations come after whistleblower Frances Haugen, pictured, testified before Congress earlier this month over Facebook's failings

The new allegations come after whistleblower Frances Haugen, pictured, testified earlier than Congress earlier this month over Facebook’s failings

The anonymous whistleblower accused one of Facebook's  top communication officials, Tucker Bounds, pictured, of brushing aside an employee's concern of misinformation

The nameless whistleblower accused considered one of Facebook’s  prime communication officers, Tucker Bounds, pictured, of brushing apart an worker’s concern of misinformation

Building on Haugen’s statements, the nameless whistleblower, who labored on Facebook’s Integrity Team, additionally shared a narrative a few prime company official brushing apart worries of election interference, the Washington Post stories. 

As the company was trying to quell political controversy following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Facebook communications official Tucker Bounds allegedly mentioned, ‘It shall be a flash in the pan.’

‘Some legislators will get pissy. And then in just a few weeks they may transfer onto one thing else. Meanwhile we’re printing cash in the basement, and we’re wonderful.’ 

The whistleblower defined that Bounds’ alleged viewpoint was frequent amongst the management in the company, and different former workers have mentioned that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg had been effectively conscious of the issues. 

Bounds has denied the declare and each he and Facebook chastised the Washington Post’s reporting of the affidavit. 

‘It units a harmful precedent to hold a whole story on a single supply making a variety of claims with none obvious corroboration,’ Facebook spokeswoman Erin McPike mentioned in an announcement. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

Former workers mentioned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, and COO Sheryl Sandberg had been conscious of Facebook’s failings however did little to repair the state of affairs

Zuckerberg, shown testifying before congress in 2019, has defended his company despite leaked documents and testimony from former employees detailing the company's wrongs

Zuckerberg, proven testifying earlier than congress in 2019, has defended his company regardless of leaked paperwork and testimony from former workers detailing the company’s wrongs

This is the first time the company has confronted such accusations since the inner memos launched and testimony given by Haugen. 

Haugen and the new whistleblower additionally submitted the allegations to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees all publicly traded firms. 

In the SEC affidavit, the nameless ex-employee alleges that Facebook officers routinely undermined efforts inside the company to battle misinformation and hate speech out of concern of angering then-President Donald Trump and his allies. 

The former worker mentioned that on one event, Facebook’s Public Policy staff defended a ‘white checklist’ that exempted the alt-right media company Breitbart News and different Trump-aligned publishers from Facebook’s abnormal guidelines in opposition to spreading pretend information. 

When an worker questioned this coverage, Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice chairman of worldwide coverage, reportedly shot down any issues. 

‘Do you wish to begin a battle with Steven Bannon,’ Kaplan allegedly mentioned. 

Kaplan, who had been beforehand criticized by former workers for allegedly looking for to guard conservative pursuits on Facebook, denies he ever confirmed bias. 

‘There has by no means been a whitelist that exempts publishers, together with Breitbart, from Facebook’s guidelines in opposition to misinformation.’ 

The whistleblower additionally complained that Facebook had not been aggressive sufficient when it got here to army officers in Myanmar utilizing the platform to unfold hate speech throughout the mass killings of the Rohingya ethnic group. 

Although Facebook had beforehand acknowledged its failure to behave swiftly in the mass deaths of the Rohingya folks, the company mentioned it not makes such errors.

‘Facebook’s strategy in Myanmar at present is basically totally different from what it was in 2017, and allegations that now we have not invested in security and safety in the nation are improper,’ McPike mentioned in an announcement. 

The whistleblower went on to accuse Facebook of failing to correctly police the secret teams arrange on the website. 

The former worker mentioned the secret group allow ‘terrifying and aberrant behaviors’ and are poorly monitored. They go on to say that Facebook Groups have grow to be havens for crime. 

These are claims echoed by Gretchen Peters, of the Alliance to Counter Crime Online, who has filed a sequence of complaints in opposition to Facebook for its alleged failings since 2017. 

Those failing embody allowing terrorist content material, drug gross sales, permitting hate speech and misinformation to flourish, all whereas inadequately warning buyers about any potential dangers. 

‘Zuckerberg and different Facebook executives repeatedly claimed excessive charges of success in proscribing illicit and poisonous content material — to lawmakers, regulators and buyers — when in actual fact they knew the agency couldn’t take away this content material and stay worthwhile,’ Peters mentioned in a brand new grievance filed on Friday. 

Haugen (pictured testifying in Congress on October 5), who claims Facebook puts 'profits before people,' earlier this month released tens of thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before leaving her job in the company's civic integrity unit

Haugen (pictured testifying in Congress on October 5), who claims Facebook places ‘income earlier than folks,’ earlier this month launched tens of 1000’s of pages of inner analysis paperwork she secretly copied earlier than leaving her job in the company’s civic integrity unit

Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony to Congress

During a Senate Commerce subcommittee listening to on October 5, Whistleblower Frances Haugen known as for transparency about how Facebook entices its customers to maintain scrolling on its apps, and the dangerous impact it could actually have on customers.

‘As lengthy as Facebook is working in the shadows, hiding its analysis from public scrutiny, it’s unaccountable,’ mentioned Haugen, a former product supervisor on Facebook’s civic misinformation staff. She left the practically $1 trillion company with tens of 1000’s of confidential paperwork.

‘The company’s management is aware of the right way to make Facebook and Instagram safer, however will not make the crucial adjustments as a result of they’ve put their astronomical income earlier than folks. Congressional motion is required,’ Haugen mentioned.

Haugen revealed she was the one that offered paperwork utilized in a Wall Street Journal and a Senate listening to on Instagram’s hurt to teenage women. She in contrast the social media providers to addictive substances like tobacco and opioids.

Before the listening to, she appeared on CBS tv program ’60 Minutes,’ revealing her identification as the whistleblower who offered the paperwork.

‘There had been conflicts of curiosity between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,’ she mentioned throughout the interview. ‘And Facebook over and over once more selected to optimize for its personal pursuits like making extra money.’

Haugen, who beforehand labored at Google and Pinterest, mentioned Facebook has lied to the public about the progress it made to clamp down on hate speech and misinformation on its platform.

She added that Facebook was used to assist arrange the Capitol riot on January 6, after the company turned off security methods following the U.S. presidential elections.

While she believed nobody at Facebook was ‘malevolent,’ she mentioned the company had misaligned incentives.

In response to Haugen’s bombshell feedback, a Facebook govt accused her of stealing company paperwork and claimed she is ‘not an professional’ on the company’s content material algorithms.

Facebook Vice President of Content Policy Monika Bickert spoke out in an interview with Fox News on, slamming Haugen a day after she testified to Congress.

Bickert mentioned that Haugen ‘mischaracterized’ the inner research relating to the dangerous impacts of content material on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, which she offered to to Congress.

The complaints come after the Haugen’s testimony earlier than Congress in early October, the place she claimed Facebook promoted divisiveness as a approach to preserve folks on the website, with Haugen saying the paperwork confirmed the company had failed to guard younger customers.

It additionally confirmed that the company knew Instagram harmed younger women’ physique picture and even tried to brainstorm methods to attraction to toddlers by ‘exploring playdates as a progress lever.’

‘The company’s management is aware of the right way to make Facebook and Instagram safer, however will not make the crucial adjustments as a result of they’ve put their astronomical income earlier than folks. Congressional motion is required,’ Haugen mentioned at a listening to.

Haugen, who anonymously filed eight complaints about her former employer with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, informed 60 Minutes earlier this month: ‘Facebook, over and over once more, has proven it chooses revenue over security.’

She claimed {that a} 2018 change prioritizing divisive posts, which made Facebook customers argue, was discovered to spice up person engagement.

That in flip helped bosses promote extra online adverts which have seen the social media big’s worth cross $1 trillion.

‘You are forcing us to take positions that we do not like, that we all know are unhealthy for society. We know if we do not take these positions, we cannot win in the market of social media,’ Haugen mentioned.

She additionally blamed Facebook for spurring the January 6 Capitol riot.

Meanwhile, the senator main a probe of Facebook’s Instagram and its influence on younger folks is asking Zuckerberg to testify earlier than the panel that has heard far-reaching criticisms from a former worker of the company.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who heads the Senate Commerce subcommittee on client safety, known as in a sharply worded letter Wednesday for the Facebook founder to testify on Instagram’s results on kids.

‘Parents throughout America are deeply disturbed by ongoing stories that Facebook is aware of that Instagram may cause damaging and lasting harms to many teenagers and kids, particularly to their psychological well being and wellbeing,’ Blumenthal mentioned in the letter addressed to Zuckerberg.

‘Those dad and mom, and the twenty million teenagers that use your app, have a proper to know the fact about the security of Instagram.’

In the wake of Haugen’s testimony early this month, Blumenthal informed Zuckerberg, ‘Facebook representatives, together with your self, have doubled down on evasive solutions, protecting hidden a number of stories on teen well being, providing noncommittal and obscure plans for motion at an unspecified time down the street, and even turning to non-public assaults on Ms. Haugen.’

Blumenthal did supply, nonetheless, that both Zuckerberg or the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, may seem earlier than his committee.

‘It is pressing and crucial for you or Mr. Adam Mosseri to testify to set the report straight and supply members of Congress and oldsters with a plan on how you’re going to defend our youngsters,’ he informed Zuckerberg.

A spokesman for Facebook, primarily based in Menlo Park, California, confirmed receipt of Blumenthal’s letter however declined any remark. 

Haugen, who buttressed her statements with tens of 1000’s of pages of inner analysis paperwork she secretly copied earlier than leaving her job in the company’s civic integrity unit, accused Facebook of prioritizing revenue over security and being dishonest in its public battle in opposition to hate and misinformation.

‘In the finish, the buck stops with Mark,’ Haugen mentioned in her testimony. ‘There is nobody presently holding Mark accountable however himself.’


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