Facebook boss ‘not willing to protect public from harm’

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The Facebook whistleblower whose revelations person tipped the societal media elephantine into situation has launched a stinging caller disapproval of Mark Zuckerberg, saying helium has not shown immoderate readiness to support the nationalist from the harm his institution is causing.

Frances Haugen told the Observer that Facebook’s laminitis and main enforcement had not displayed a tendency to tally the institution successful a mode that shields the nationalist from the consequences of harmful content.

Her involution came arsenic unit mounted connected the near-$1tn (£730m) concern pursuing a caller question of revelations based connected documents leaked by Haugen, a erstwhile Facebook employee. The New York Times reported that workers had repeatedly warned that Facebook was being flooded with mendacious claims astir the 2020 statesmanlike predetermination effect being fraudulent and believed the institution should person done much to tackle it.

Haugen, who appears earlier MPs and peers successful Westminster connected Monday, said Zuckerberg, who controls the concern via a bulk of its voting shares, has not shown immoderate willingness to support the public.

“Right now, Mark is unaccountable. He has each the control. He has nary oversight, and helium has not demonstrated that helium is consenting to govern the institution astatine the level that is indispensable for nationalist safety.”

She added that giving each shareholders an adjacent accidental successful the moving of the institution would effect successful changes astatine the top. “I judge successful shareholder rights and the shareholders, oregon shareholders minus Mark, person been asking for years for 1 stock 1 vote. And the crushed for that is, I americium beauteous definite the shareholders would take different enactment if they had an option.”

Facebook laminitis  and  and main  enforcement  Mark Zuckerberg
The Facebook laminitis and and main enforcement Mark Zuckerberg is accused of failing to support the public. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Haugen, who discontinue arsenic a Facebook merchandise manager successful May, said she had leaked tens of 1000 of documents to the Wall Street Journal and to Congress due to the fact that she had realised that the institution would not alteration otherwise.

She said: “There are large companies that person done large taste changes. Apple did a large taste change; Microsoft did a large taste change. Facebook tin alteration too. They conscionable person to get the will.”

This weekend, a consortium of US quality organisations released a caller question of stories based connected the Haugen documents. The New York Times reported that interior probe showed how, astatine 1 constituent aft the US statesmanlike predetermination past year, 10% of each US views of governmental worldly connected Facebook – a precise precocious proportionality for Facebook – were of posts falsely alleging that Joe Biden’s triumph was fraudulent. One interior reappraisal criticised attempts to tackle Stop the Steal groups spreading claims connected the level that the predetermination was rigged. “Enforcement was piecemeal,” said the research.

The revelations person reignited concerns astir Facebook’s relation successful the 6 January riots, successful which a mob seeking to overturn the predetermination effect stormed the Capitol successful Washington. The New York Times added that immoderate of the reporting for the communicative was based connected documents not released by Haugen.

A Facebook spokesperson said: “At the bosom of these stories is simply a premise which is false. Yes, we’re a concern and we marque profit, but the thought that we bash truthful astatine the disbursal of people’s information oregon wellbeing misunderstands wherever our commercialized interests lie. The information is we’ve invested $13bn and person implicit 40,000 radical to bash 1 job: support radical harmless connected Facebook.”

Facebook’s vice-president of integrity, Guy Rosen, said the institution had enactment successful spot aggregate measures to support the nationalist during and aft the predetermination and that “responsibility for the [6 January] insurrection lies with those who broke the instrumentality during the onslaught and those who incited them”.

It was besides reported connected Friday that a new Facebook whistleblower had travel forward and, similar Haugen, had filed a ailment to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US fiscal regulator, alleging that the institution declined to enforce information rules for fearfulness of angering Donald Trump oregon impacting Facebook’s growth.

Haugen volition attest successful idiosyncratic connected Monday to the associated committee scrutinising the draft online information bill, which would enforce a work of attraction connected societal media companies to support users from harmful content, and let the communications regulator, Ofcom, to good those who breach this. The maximum good is 10% of planetary turnover, truthful successful the lawsuit of Facebook, this could tally into billions of pounds. Facebook, whose services besides see Instagram and WhatsApp, has 2.8 cardinal regular users and generated an income past twelvemonth of $86bn.

As good arsenic issuing elaborate rebuttals of Haugen’s revelations, Facebook is reportedly readying a large alteration that would effort to enactment immoderate region betwixt the institution and its main platform. Zuckerberg could denote a rebranding of Facebook’s firm identity connected Thursday, according to a study that said the institution is keen to emphasise its aboriginal arsenic a player successful the “metaverse”, a integer satellite successful which radical interact and pb their societal and nonrecreational lives virtually.

Haugen said Facebook indispensable beryllium compelled by each regulators to beryllium much transparent with the accusation astatine its disposal internally, arsenic elaborate successful her papers leaks. She said 1 cardinal betterment would beryllium to acceptable up a ceremonial operation whereby regulators could request reports from Facebook connected immoderate occupation that they identify.

“Let’s ideate determination was a marque of car that was having 5 times arsenic galore car accidents arsenic different cars. We wouldn’t judge that car institution saying, ‘this is truly hard, we are trying our best, we are sorry, we are trying to bash amended successful the future’. We would ne'er judge that arsenic an reply and we are proceeding that from Facebook each the time. There needs to beryllium an avenue wherever we tin escalate a interest and they really person to springiness america a response.”