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Facebook whistleblower says social network makes hate ‘unquestionably worse’

Frances Haugen told MPs there was a ‘weak spot’ within the tech giant on who you could turn to for escalating concerns.

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Frances Haugen took questions from MPs and peers (Parliament Live/PA)

Frances Haugen took questions from MPs and peers (Parliament Live/PA)

Frances Haugen took questions from MPs and peers (Parliament Live/PA)

Facebook has been accused of being “very good at dancing with data” and making hate “unquestionably worse” by a former employee turned whistleblower.

Frances Haugen took questions from MPs and peers on Monday afternoon after releasing thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before leaving her job in the company’s civic integrity unit.

The whistleblower shed light on her time with the tech giant, saying there was a “weak spot” on who you could turn to for escalating concerns.

“When I worked on counter espionage, I saw things where I was concerned about national security and I had no idea how to escalate those because I didn’t have faith in my chain of command,” she said.

The failures of Facebook are making it harder for us to regulate FacebookFrances Haugen, whistleblower

“I flagged repeatedly when I worked on integrity that I felt that critical teams were understaffed.

“Right now there’s no incentives internally, that if you make noise, saying we need more help – people will not get rallied around for help, because everyone is underwater.”

Ms Haugen likened failures at Facebook to an oil spill, telling the Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee) that she “came forward now because now is the most critical time to act”.

“When we see something like an oil spill, that oil spill doesn’t make it harder for a society to regulate oil companies.

“But right now the failures of Facebook are making it harder for us to regulate Facebook.”

Ms Haugen also dismissed claims that she was being used as “a plan to get more censorship” on the internet, as the Government works out how to go about regulating tech firms and social media.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has previously rejected the claims made by Ms Haugen in the US press and before a congressional committee, saying her attacks on the company were “misrepresenting” the work it does.

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