Since the end of last September, Facebook has had its name involved in complaints by a former employee about preferring profit to the safety of its users. This isn’t the first time the company has found itself in a scandal that encompasses its privacy policies.
But what do these claims consist of and how will they break down from now on? And what has Facebook already given in terms of answers about the case? O detective TC separated all the details to pass on to you. Check out:
In September, internal Facebook documents were leaked and showed a series of discontents by employees over Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking practices.
The information revealed indicates several acts of the company that have been investigated. Among them is the differentiated treatment of celebrities, who could post content under different rules in relation to common users. One of the cases occurred with Neymar, when the platform allowed him to post a photo of a naked woman after being accused of rape, in 2019.
Another situation, which also occurred in 2019, reflected a “weak” response from Facebook after employees’ concerns about people trafficking on Instagram. The documents indicate that the service was aware of the subject, but took small steps in light of the facts.
A few slides showed that social media was still aware that Instagram would be “toxic” to teenagers. An internal study showed that 32% of female teenagers said that when they felt bad about their bodies, the platform made them worse.
To top it off, Facebook would also be in for a major shareholder lawsuit, with criticism over paying $5 billion to the FCC to end the Cambridge Analytica scandal as a way to protect Zuckerberg, and the leak shows that the network promotes positive campaigns about itself on the platform itself, to clean up its image.
Last week, former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen testified to the US Senate. She claimed to have been the author of the leaks and made controversial statements about the company she has worked for since 2019.
In the main one, she said that the company will not make necessary changes to make its services safer “because it put its astronomical profits before people”. Haugen stressed that the company purposely hides essential information from users, the US government and around the world.
The former employee also added that Facebook does not change the algorithm to make it more secure because if it does, “people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click fewer ads, and they’ll make less money”. The platform would even know that rankings based on algorithms or engagement keep people on its sites longer.
What are the developments?
Frances will now speak with the Joint Committee of the UK Parliament. This will be the first time that the deponent will speak outside the United States. The group’s president, Damian Collins, highlighted that the importance of information will increase the need for regulation of technology giants.
“There needs to be greater transparency in the decisions companies like Facebook make when trading user safety for engagement.”
Chairperson of the Joint Committee of the UK Parliament
Last Monday (11), Haugen confirmed that he will meet with Facebook’s own Oversight Committee. It is an independent group focused on analyzing platform moderation decisions. The former executive has already said that the social network lies to the board several times and will now share the truth with its members.
On the other hand, the Committee issued a statement in which it emphasizes the importance of transparency in the rules followed by companies the size of Facebook.
“The choices made by companies like Facebook have real consequences for the freedom of expression and human rights of billions of people around the world. In this context, transparency around the rules is essential.”
Facebook Oversight Committee
economy and market
Mark Zuckerberg responded to the ex-employee’s statements on her social media profile. He said the organization is deeply concerned about issues such as safety, well-being and mental health, in addition to claiming that there is “a false image being painted of the company”. The executive added that “It’s just not true” about prioritizing profits over user safety.
On the other hand, information from this Wednesday (13) from New York Times signal that Facebook tried to stop the leaks by making some internal message boards private. In a note to the American newspaper, the service states that the change had been underway for months, as a way of moving away from the context of change only at this moment of internal revelations.
“Leaks undermine the effectiveness, efficiency and morale of teams working every day to address the challenges that come with operating a platform for billions of people. They can also put employees working on sensitive issues at risk externally and lead to complex topics being misrepresented and misinterpreted.”
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