Former Facebook Employee Emphasizes Social Media’s Damage to UK Parliament

Former Facebook official, Frances Haugen, who became whistleblower told British lawmakers on Monday (25/10) that the social media giant “undoubtedly” has leverage to amplify hate speech online.

In testifying before a parliamentary committee in London, Haugen reiterated what he reported to US senators this month.

According to Haugen, the social media giant has fueled hatred and extremism online, and lacks the initiative to change its algorithm to disseminate non-dividing content.

As a result, he added, Facebook could eventually trigger more violent chaos around the world.

According to Haugen, Facebook’s algorithm is designed to encourage more engagement among users in “prioritizing and amplifying extreme payloads that can be divisive and cause polarization.”

Facebook did not respond to Haugen’s testimony on Monday. Earlier this month, Haugen testified before a US Senate committee and said the company had made more losses than profits. Facebook itself has denied Haugen’s accusations.

“The argument that we intentionally include content that (could) anger people and profit from that action is completely absurd,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Haugen’s testimony comes as a coalition of news organizations on Monday (25/10) began publishing a report on Facebook’s practices based on company documents that Haugen had secretly copied and distributed.

Haugen is a former product manager at Facebook and became a whistleblower or a reporter from within the company. [jm/lt]

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