Facebook whistleblower claims company puts profits before public safety 'over and over again'

On 60 Minutes Sunday, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen called out the social media giant for prioritizing profits over public safety. Haugen, who worked on the company’s Civic Integrity team until it was dissolved shortly after the 2020 election, said that Facebook has been a major contributor to divisions in society.

“Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money,” Haugen said, later adding, “Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety. It is subsidizing — it is paying for its profits with our safety.”

Haugen is not alone in the belief that Facebook is dangerous. In 2018, the United Nations blamed the site for playing a “determining role” in the spread of hatred against Rohingya in Myanmar, a sentiment Haugen echoed, but on a global scale.

“When we live in an information environment that is full of angry, hateful, polarizing content, it erodes our civic trust, it erodes our faith in each other, it erodes our ability to want to care for each other,” Haugen said. “The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart, and causing ethnic violence around the world.”

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