Tech

Facebook and Instagram whistleblower to testify before UK Parliament

Facebook logo on a phone screen

Fb’s come underneath growing hearth over its dealing with of dangerous posts.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who’s criticized the corporate’s opaque operations and accused it of placing earnings forward of person security, is about to look earlier than a UK Parliament committee on Oct. 25. Individually, she is predicted to satisfy with the corporate’s Oversight Board, which critiques Fb’s moderation selections.

Haugen will testify to the Draft Online Safety Bill joint committee, the UK Parliament mentioned on its web site, marking the primary time the previous product supervisor will publicly converse to a authorities exterior the US. Final week, Haugen appeared earlier than a US Senate subcommittee and alleged its merchandise “hurt kids, stoke division and weaken our democracy.” She urged lawmakers to provide provide more active oversight of the social network

“Congress can change the foundations that Fb performs by and cease the various harms it’s now inflicting,” Haugen advised US senators. Fb’s PR team and CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticized Haugen’s testimony, saying it presented a “false picture” of the social network.

Fb did not instantly reply to a request for remark about Haugen’s upcoming testimony.

Haugen’s deliberate look earlier than UK lawmakers marks her newest in a string of efforts to attract consideration to what she calls Fb’s “ethical chapter.” Haugen, who labored on election interference and different intelligence points, says Fb underinvested in groups meant to counter disinformation and harassment. She additionally says Fb executives did not adequately handle issues raised by knowledge collected by its personal analysis groups that indicated some content material posted on its companies, together with the Instagram photo-sharing community, is hurting millions of people.

Haugen copied hundreds of paperwork and communications from Fb earlier than she left the corporate in Could after working there for practically two years. The Wall Street Journal used a few of these paperwork for a sequence of tales it revealed about how Fb is aware of in regards to the risks of its merchandise however downplays these results publicly. 

Lawmakers throughout the political spectrum have to this point responded with renewed curiosity in holding Fb to account. Some have additionally likened Haugen’s disclosures about Facebook to revelations from the tobacco trade’s decades-long coverup of the damaging well being results of its merchandise, which was exposed in the 1990s.

The UK Parliament is responding equally, calling for an “unbiased regulator with the facility to audit and examine the large tech firms” together with Fb. Lawmakers there are engaged on laws known as the Online Safety Bill, which would regulate social media. The invoice is because of be put earlier than Parliament for approval subsequent yr.

“There must be higher transparency on the selections firms like Fb take once they commerce off person security for person engagement,” Damian Collins, a member of Parliament, mentioned in a press release.

Haugen can be anticipated to meet with Facebook’s Oversight Board, which is tasked with reviewing a number of the social community’s content material moderation selections. 

“Board members recognize the prospect to debate Ms. Haugen’s experiences and collect data that may assist push for higher transparency and accountability from Fb by means of our case selections and proposals,” the oversight board mentioned in a weblog put up. 

The board is at the moment trying right into a program known as Cross Check that, based on The Journal, shielded public figures from the corporate’s guidelines towards harassment and incitement to violence. Fb mentioned this system was meant to offer sure customers a “second layer of assessment” to make sure its insurance policies are utilized appropriately.

“Fb has lied to the board repeatedly, and I’m trying ahead to sharing the reality with them,” Haugen said in a tweet on Monday.



https://www.cnet.com/information/facebook-and-instagram-whistleblower-to-testify-before-uk-parliament/#ftag=CADf328eec | Fb and Instagram whistleblower to testify earlier than UK Parliament

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