The Facebook Whistleblower, Frances Haugen, Says She Wants to Fix the Company, Not Harm It

By Brad Pareso 

The former Facebook employee who gathered documents that formed the foundation of the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series said she acted to help prompt change at the social-media giant, not to stir anger toward it. (WSJ)

Frances Haugen was identified in a 60 Minutes interview Sunday as the woman who anonymously filed complaints with federal law enforcement that the company’s own research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation. (NPR / AP)

A veteran of tech companies including Pinterest, Yelp and Google, Haugen, 37, left Facebook in May after developing serious reservations about the company’s policies, particularly surrounding the events of Jan. 6. Before the 2020 election, Haugen said, Facebook implemented measures to prevent the spread of misinformation, but the company decided to dissolve many of these protections after the election. (WaPo)

Haugen has also filed a whistle-blower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, accusing Facebook of misleading investors with public statements that did not match its internal actions. And she has talked with lawmakers such as Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat of Connecticut, and Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Republican of Tennessee. (NYT)

Haugen will testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday in a hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online,” about the company’s research into Instagram’s effect on the mental health of young users. (BBC News)

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