Facebook whistleblower to say former employer an ‘pressing risk’ to U.S.

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WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Facebook (FB.O) whistleblower Frances Haugen will seem earlier than the U.S. Congress Tuesday, the place she is ready to sharply criticize her former employer as “one of the most urgent threats” going through the nation, and to demand transparency about its operations with the intention to higher regulate it.

Haugen, a former product supervisor on Facebook’s civic misinformation group, says the social media big retains its algorithms and operations a secret.

“The core of the issue is that no one can understand Facebook’s destructive choices better than Facebook, because only Facebook gets to look under the hood,” she mentioned in written testimony ready for the listening to.

“A critical starting point for effective regulation is transparency,” she mentioned in testimony to be delivered to a Senate Commerce subcommittee.

“On this foundation, we can build sensible rules and standards to address consumer harms, illegal content, data protection, anticompetitive practices, algorithmic systems and more.”

Haugen will inform the panel that Facebook executives frequently select income over person security.

“The company’s leadership knows ways to make Facebook and Instagram safer and won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people,” she’s going to say. “It is accountable to no one.”

Haugen got here ahead this week to disclose she was the one who offered paperwork utilized in a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate listening to on Instagram’s hurt to teen ladies.

Facebook didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The Journal’s tales confirmed the corporate contributed to elevated polarization on-line when it made adjustments to its content material algorithm; didn’t take steps to cut back vaccine hesitancy; and was conscious that Instagram harmed the psychological well being of teenage ladies.

Haugen mentioned Facebook had additionally completed too little to stop its platform from being utilized by individuals planning violence.

Facebook was utilized by individuals planning mass killings in Myanmar and the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, decided to toss out the 2020 election outcomes.

Reporting by Diane Bartz, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is interviewed by Scott Pelley for a CBS News 60 Minutes program in an undated photograph.  Robert Fortunato for CBS News/60MINUTES/Handout via REUTERS