Another repentant worker is willing to testify against Facebook before the United States Congress. Sophie Zhang, who worked as a data scientist at the tech giant, said she felt she had “bloodstained hands” after working for nearly three years at the company led by Mark Zuckerberg.
Zhang wrote a lengthy memo when she was fired by Facebook in 2020 detailing how she believed the company i wasn’t doing enough to address hate and misinformation, particularly in smaller areas and developing countries.
The document was first published last year by the news site BuzzFeed News and then formed the basis of a series of reports on the British newspaper’s social network The Guardian.
Facebook fired Sophie Zhang citing performance problems; she believes it was because of her discoveries.
Speaking to the news signal CNN, Zhang said on Sunday she was encouraged that there appeared to be bipartisan support for actions related to the protection of children on the Internet, following Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony before a Senate subcommittee last week.
The core of Zhang’s accusations about Facebook is that it doesn’t do enough to address abuse of your platform in countries outside the United States. It is estimated that approximately 90% of Facebook’s monthly active users are outside the US and Canada, based on its most recent quarterly submission.
“I provided detailed documentation on possible criminal offenses to a law enforcement agency in the United States. I understand that the investigation is still ongoing, “he tweeted Sunday.
For its part, Facebook rejected the statements of its former employee, saying that the company invested billions in security in recent years.
Frances Haugen, the first repentant. The former Facebook employee appeared before the United States Senate. Photo: REUTERS / Evelyn Hockstein.
“Too we eliminate more than 150 networks seeking to manipulate the public debate since 2017, and have originated in more than 50 countries, with the majority coming from or concentrating outside of the U.S. Our track record shows that we crack down on abuses abroad with the same intensity that we apply in the US, “added a company source.
Zhang’s remarks come a week after the former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, declared in the US Senate that the company puts its benefits before the safety of users and hides that its platforms are harmful to minors, foster social division and weaken democracy.
Haugen, who previously leaked internal company documents to the Wall Street Journal, painted a ruthless portrait of the company, because during the time he was working on it he realized a “devastating truth”: Facebook hides information from the public and governments .
Facebook encourages young people not to abuse Instagram
Simultaneously to the media irruption of Sophie Zhang, those responsible for the social network announced new controls on their platforms to protect children and adolescents and thus face the reputational crisis that goes through.
Specifically, the company will implement tools to encourage young people not to abuse Instagram or to warn them that it is not good for them to repeatedly watch the same content.
Facebook announced tools for young people not to spend as much time on Instagram. Photo: AFP.
The measures were announced on Sunday by Facebook’s vice president for international affairs, Nick Clegg, who interpret this initiative as an attempt to stop criticism received by technology.
Clegg further explained that Facebook recently suspended its plans to develop Instagram Kids, aimed at tweens, and that it was introducing new optional controls for adults to supervise teens.