Photo Via T.J. Kirkpatrick from The New York Times
Former Facebook product manager, Frances Haugen, has come forward with a cache of internal messages, research, and documents that present internal concerns about the social media platform’s failure to regulate dangerous content and its adverse effects on children. Widely known as the Facebook Papers, include tens of thousands of pages and files collected by Haugen as well as redacted versions of news and articles from the Associated Press, The Atlantic, CNN, the Financial Times, Fox Business, Le Monde, The New York Times, NPR, Reuters and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Multiple US and European news outlets have followed suit and have published stories, research, documents, and presentations on Facebook and their failure to regulate the platform.
Haugen supplied the documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission before testifying at Congress and the UK Parliament on how the Facebook knowingly failed to filter misinformation, hate speech, and dangerous content across the platform. Haugen claims that the collection of data and internal documents prove that Facebook’s leadership continuously withheld information to maintain public image and profitability. Facebook declined to make an official statement but claimed that the internal documents are misleading and paint a “false picture” of the social media platform.
Among many experts, Haugen urged senators to implement regulations and antitrust initiatives to reduce the power the social media platform that is used by nearly half the world’s population. Several experts have suggest the formation of an independent regulatory agency and legal penalties for major media companies. This agency would include industry leaders and federal representative that would enact behavioral and privacy policies and well as regulations on the use of collected user data and information. For Facebook, this would require more transparency on internal affairs and policies and changes to its algorithms.