Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower accusing the tech giant of putting profit before safety, will be giving evidence to the UK Parliament later this month. Haugen will appear before the Online Safety Bill committee on 25 October.
The Online Safety Bill committee is examining a law to impose obligations on social-media companies to protect its users, especially children. Mr. Frances Haugen has alleged that Facebook harms children’s mental health and stokes division in society. Facebook has firmly denied these allegations with CEO Mark Zuckerberg labeling them “illogical”.
Ms. Haugen was also invited on 8 November to a committee of MEPs investigating “the negative impact” of big tech companies on users. Facebook has firmly denied all allegations, stating that Ms. Haugen “mischaracterized stolen documents” and that the Wall Street Journal’s series of reports were misleading.
According to Ms Haugen, Facebook has also “repeatedly” lied to its Oversight Board in that it reportedly had a list of high-profile users that could flaunt the rules without consequence and was aware of the fact that Instagram made people with body image issues feel worse.
The “cross check” or “XCheck” program reportedly allowed 5.8 million celebrities, politicians and journalists to be “whitelisted” from violating the rules. Facebook told its Oversight Board that this system was only used in a “small number of decisions”.
The whitelist was reportedly used to protect conspiracy theories and other debunked content. “We are not actually doing what we say we do publicly,” said an internal review by Facebook into XCheck, according to leaked documents, which also called the actions “a breach of trust.”
Sources: BBC, Yahoo
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