The former Facebook employee who leaked internal documents to the Wall Street Journal revealed her identity as 37-year-old Frances Haugen in a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday, in which she gave her personal perspective as a member of the Civic Integrity team. “Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety,” Haugen said. She cited Facebook’s dissolution of its political misinformation team and associated safety protections directly after the election last year, facilitating and enabling the successful planning and promotion of the January 6 insurrection. Hauge also confirmed programmers and executives chose to prioritize hateful and divisive content, because it drives more engagement and thus brings in more ad revenue, while choosing not to push safer content into users’ feeds.
Despite assurances that it’s got a handle on problematic content —and consistent with the findings of a recent report showing Facebook only addressed less than 1% of the fact-checked disinformation about the Texas blackout — the company’s internal research found Facebook only identifies just 3-5% of the hate and 1% of the incitements to violence on its platform. Haugen, who goes to Burning Man to act as a conflict mediator and community standards enforcer, struck a decidedly anti-hateful tone in the interview and in her final message in Facebook’s internal workplace: “I don’t hate Facebook. I love Facebook. I want to save it.” (Wall Street Journal $, Gizmodo, AP, The Verge, New York Post, CNN,The Guardian, Axios, Washington Post $, TIME, New York Times $, NY Mag, Reuters, CBS, Vox)