Regulate Big Tech

My name is Frances Haugen. I used to work at Facebook. I joined Facebook because I think Facebook has the potential to bring out the best in us. But I’m here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy. The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congressional action is needed. They won’t solve this crisis without your help.

Yesterday, we saw Facebook get taken off the internet. I don’t know why it went down, but I know that for more than five hours, Facebook wasn’t used to deepen divides, destabilize democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies. It also means that millions of small businesses weren’t able to reach potential customers, and countless photos of new babies weren’t joyously celebrated by family and friends around the world.

I believe in the potential of Facebook. We can have social media we enjoy, that connects us without tearing apart our democracy, putting our children in danger and sowing ethnic violence around the world. We can do better. …

During my time at Facebook, first working as the lead product manager for civic misinformation and later on counterespionage, I saw Facebook repeatedly encounter conflicts between its own profits and our safety. Facebook consistently resolved these conflicts in favor of its own profits. The result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more threats and more combat. In some cases, this dangerous online talk has led to actual violence that harms and even kills people. This is not simply a matter of certain social media users being angry or unstable, or about one side being radicalized against the other. It is about Facebook choosing to grow at all costs, becoming an almost trillion-dollar company by buying its profits with our safety.

— source democracynow.org | Oct 06, 2021

Nullius in verba


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