Watch the leaker explain on “60 Minutes” why Facebook is “horrible” in other countries
It was a bad night for Facebook.
In an episode of 60 minutes Airing on Sunday night, Frances Haugen revealed that she was behind the leaks of documents used by the the Wall Street newspaper in his explosive series “Facebook Files”.
She was previously a product manager on the company’s civic integrity team, which focused on electoral matters, and worked at several Silicon Valley companies in the past, including Pinterest and Google. In December 2020, shortly before the riots on January 6, Facebook disbanded its team. Haugen quit his job at Facebook in April and contacted Whistleblower Aid, reported the Newspaper in an article published on Sunday. The nonprofit says it provides legal aid to “people who legally report government and business law violations.”
At 60 minutes, she described how Facebook has placed growth above social responsibility, calling the situation “substantially worse” than in other social media companies.
She also said 60 minutes correspondent Scott Pelley that she found “horrible” what “Facebook is in other countries”.
“What I want everyone to know is that Facebook is good, much more dangerous than anyone knows, and it’s getting worse.”
In markets outside the United States, she said, “each new language costs more, but there are fewer and fewer customers.” Essentially, Facebook gets less bang for the buck when it trains moderators and AIs in smaller countries with fewer users. So instead of building expensive infrastructure, Haugen said, Facebook is letting disinformation spread.
“In other parts of the world, this misinformation leads directly to the deaths of people,” she said.
In a statement to 60 minutes, Facebook said it continues “to make significant improvements to combat the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest that we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
Haugen told the Newspaper that the team responsible for combating forced prostitution and slavery on Facebook included only a few investigators.
“I would ask why more people weren’t hired,” she told the Newspaper. “Facebook acted as if it was powerless to staff these teams.”
A report released last year by NYU’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights recommended that Facebook double its number of moderators to effectively tackle hate speech and disinformation, and make them all full-time employees, instead of using subcontractors.
The situation at the company is not improving, Haugen said during an episode of The newspaper podcast, which also went live on Sunday.
“What I want everyone to know is Facebook is much, much more dangerous than anyone,” she said, “and it’s getting worse.”