Facebook Whistleblower Offers an Unprecedented Look at How the Company “Chooses Profits Over Safety”

On Sun­day night, Frances Hau­gen, a for­mer Face­book data sci­en­tist, appeared on 60 Min­utes and revealed that she left the com­pa­ny with a trove of pri­vate Face­book research–research which shows, she con­tends, that the com­pa­ny know­ing­ly ampli­fies hate, mis­in­for­ma­tion and polit­i­cal unrest, all to keep peo­ple engaged and out­raged, and thus their adver­tis­ing mon­ey machine rolling. And that’s just the tip of the ice­berg.

Ini­tial­ly, she gave the com­pa­ny’s leaked doc­u­ments to the Wall Street Jour­nal, and they became the basis of the pod­cast series The Face­book Files. Accord­ing to the Jour­nal, “Time and again, the doc­u­ments show, Facebook’s researchers have iden­ti­fied the platform’s ill effects. Time and again, despite con­gres­sion­al hear­ings, its own pledges and numer­ous media exposés, the com­pa­ny didn’t fix them. The doc­u­ments offer per­haps the clear­est pic­ture thus far of how broad­ly Facebook’s prob­lems are known inside the com­pa­ny, up to the chief exec­u­tive him­self.”

Watch the 60 Min­utes inter­view above. Then stream the Face­book Files on WSJ’s site, Spo­ti­fy and/or Apple. The episodes all appear below:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Sacha Baron Cohen Links the Decline of Democ­ra­cy to the Rise of Social Media, “the Great­est Pro­pa­gan­da Machine in His­to­ry”

The Prob­lem with Face­book: “It’s Keep­ing Things From You”

The Case for Delet­ing Your Social Media Accounts & Doing Valu­able “Deep Work” Instead, Accord­ing to Prof. Cal New­port

New Ani­ma­tion Explains Sher­ry Turkle’s The­o­ries on Why Social Media Makes Us Lone­ly

Lyn­da Bar­ry on How the Smart­phone Is Endan­ger­ing Three Ingre­di­ents of Cre­ativ­i­ty: Lone­li­ness, Uncer­tain­ty & Bore­dom


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