Wednesday, 07 Dec 2022

Whistleblower Frances Haugen on the alliance to hold social media accountable: We need to act now

Whistleblower Frances Haugen on the alliance to hold social media accountable: We need to act now


Whistleblower Frances Haugen on the alliance to hold social media accountable: We need to act now

Frances Haugen left her role as a product manager at Facebook in 2021, bringing with her a cache of internal documents illustrating allegations of wrongdoing at the company.

But a year later, despite congressional hearings and investigations, Meta has made few meaningful changes to its policies, Haugen says, and as the US midterm elections approach, the stakes are high.

"I'm extremely concerned about the upcoming election, and I'm even more concerned about future elections," Haugen told the Guardian. "Without transparency and without oversight, we should expect [Facebook] will not spend enough on safety - they won't produce a level of safety that we deserve."

Frustrated by the inaction, Haugen is one of dozens of former government officials, independent researchers and public health advocates who are joining a new bipartisan coalition that hopes to force fundamental change to the world's major tech platforms.

Launching on Thursday, the Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM) aims to advocate for "bipartisan solutions" and serve "a critical mechanism" in holding these companies accountable.

"The council is trying to bring together a bipartisan, diverse set of people to emphasize that these are not partisan issues," Haugen told the Guardian. "These are common sense solutions that can make a really big difference, and we need to act now."

Launched in partnership with political reform group Issue One, the CRSM will advocate for change in three main areas: kids, communities and national security.

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