Facebook’s supervisory board, the Oversight Board, will soon speak with the former employee who accuses the social media company of acting unethically. Whistleblower Frances Haugen said, among other things, that Facebook considers profit more important than social interest. She also said that the company behind Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp is so closed that even its own Oversight Board does not know what is going on internally.
“Given Ms Haugen’s serious claims about Facebook, we have invited her to speak with the council in the coming weeks,” the regulator said. The Oversight Board said it would further investigate whether Facebook gave full disclosure in previous answers to the board.
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Haugen, who as an employee was responsible for countering disinformation at Facebook, spoke with US Congressmen last week about alleged abuses at her former employer. She said Facebook has been slow to act against hate messages outside the United States, which has contributed to ethnically motivated violence in Myanmar and Ethiopia, among other things. The company would also know from its own research that its apps, such as Instagram, harm the mental health of some young users.
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The Oversight Board hopes to be able to move Facebook towards more “transparency and responsibility” based on the discussions with Haugen, the council writes. Facebook created the council in 2020 as a body that checks whether the company adheres to its own rules. There are a total of twenty members, including former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman.