Algorithm And Blues. Facebook Whistleblower Tells Senators Facebook’s Dirty Secrets

Former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Washington. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Mark Zuckerberg has had better weeks one would presume. 

Tuesday on Capitol Hill, his least-favorite ex employee Frances Haugen testified before a Senate panel and was very articulate and convincing in her high profile verbal takedown of Zuck and Facebook. 

On Sunday night, she was revealed on 60 Minutes as the whistleblower who said Facebook knows they harm kids and they keep doing it. 

Haugen is a former product manager for civic misinformation at Facebook.  Not a huge or powerful job, but she said she was able to peel back the curtain and see how the sausage is made at the social media giant. 

Here’s some highlights. 

She said Facebook puts profits over users’ health and safety, which she said is a result of their algorithm’s design that steers users toward high-engagement posts that can be harmful. 

For instance, Haugen explained how an algorithm could drive young FB users from reading about something innocent like healthy recipes, and then divert them to content that promotes anorexia. 

Haugen has worked at other tech companies, including Google, Yelp and Pinterest, but she told 60 Minutes what she saw at Facebook was worse than anywhere else. 

Haugen didn’t accuse the top leaders at Facebook of intentionally creating products that are dangers, but she did tell lawmakers that Zuckerberg needs to be held responsible for the impacts of the business he founded and is CEO of. 

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