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Posts Tagged ‘Frances Haugen’

Ethiopia & Myanmar: a Terrifying Story | Facebook Will Only Become More Dangerous to The World

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 6, 2021

For years, Facebook has been serving as one of the main platforms the fascist Oromo regime in Ethiopia & its followers used it incite hate and demonize Tigrayans, resulting in the ongoing 11-month-old #TigrayGenocide.

💭 “What we saw in Myanmar and are now seeing in Ethiopia are only the opening chapters of a story so terrifying, no one wants to read the end of it” Frances Haugen ends her remarks with a warning that without further action, Facebook will only become more dangerous to the world.

Facebook ‘operates in shadows’ – and Instagram is worse than other social sites, whistleblower tells Congress

“Mark holds a very unique role in the tech industry in that he holds over 55% of all the voting shares for Facebook. There are no similarly powerful companies that are as unilaterally controlled,” said Ms Haugen.

Facebook’s products “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy”, a whistleblower has claimed.

Frances Haugen – who used to work as a product manager at the tech giant – has given damning evidence to US politicians in the Senate, days after leaking internal documents to the Wall Street Journal.

Her testimony also came after Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered an unprecedented outage for almost six hours on Monday – leaving its 3.5 billion users struggling to access services.

Ms Haugen warned: “Left alone, Facebook will continue to make choices that go against the common good. Our common good.

“When we realised Big Tobacco was hiding the harms, that caused the government to take action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action.

“And when our government learned that opioids were taking lives, the government took action.”

Following the hearing Facebook said that Ms Haugen had worked with the company for less than two years and it didn’t “agree with her characterisation of the many issues she testified about”.

The whistleblower implored politicians in the hearing to take similar action against Facebook – and alleged that the company’s leadership knows how to make its platforms safer but won’t make the necessary changes “because they have put their astronomical profits before people”.

She later warned that there was nobody at the company who could hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable other than himself.

“Mark holds a very unique role in the tech industry in that he holds over 55% of all the voting shares for Facebook. There are no similarly powerful companies that are as unilaterally controlled,” she said.

And she added: “As long as Facebook is operating in the shadows, hiding its research from public scrutiny, it is unaccountable.”

Addressing Monday’s outage, Ms Haugen said: “For more than five hours, Facebook wasn’t used to deepen divides, destabilise democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies.”

Explaining why she drew parallels between Facebook, Instagram and Big Tobacco, she said such platforms give young people “little dopamine hits” every time they receive a like – and many children fear being “ostracised” and disconnected from their peers if they stop using it.

Ms Haugen also said she believes Instagram is “worse” than other apps such as TikTok, Reddit and Snapchat because of how it is “about bodies and comparing lifestyles”.

Facebook has said “a number of inaccurate claims” were made during her testimony.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said Facebook knew that its products were addictive like cigarettes – adding: “Tech now faces that Big Tobacco jaw-dropping moment of truth.”

Criticising Zuckerberg, he added: “Our children are the ones who are victims. Teens today looking in the mirror feel doubt and insecurity. Mark Zuckerberg ought to be looking at himself in the mirror.”

He also assured Ms Haugen that politicians will do “anything and everything to protect and stop any retaliation against you, and any legal action that the company may bring to bear”.

And in a direct message to Zuckerberg, Senator Ed Markey said: “Your time of invading privacy, promoting toxic content and preying on children and teens is over.”

Vowing that Congress will take action against the company, he added: “You can work with us or not work with us.”

Some senators personally extended an invitation for Zuckerberg to testify in front of the committee and put forward Facebook’s side of the story, while others accused him of going sailing instead of facing his responsibilities.


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