5 Quick Facts About Frances Haugen, a Facebook Whistleblower

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Frances Haugen is a former Facebook employee who came forward as the whistleblower who gave The Wall Street Journal private research documents for its Facebook Files project. Haugen worked for several major tech and social media companies during her 15-year career, most recently as a product manager at Facebook until May 2021. On Sunday, October 3, 2021, Haugen revealed her true identity in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes.

According to her website, the 37-year-old Haugen “was recruited to Facebook in 2019 to be the lead Product Manager on the Civic Misinformation team, which dealt with issues related to democracy, misinformation, and she later also worked on counter-espionage.” “During her time at Facebook, Frances became increasingly alarmed by the company’s choices prioritizing their own profits over public safety — putting people’s lives in danger,” Haugen continued. Frances took the brave step of blowing the whistle on Facebook as a last resort and at great personal risk. “Frances fundamentally believes that the problems we are facing today with social media are solvable,” Haugen wrote on her website. We can create a social media platform that brings out the best in people. “What I saw at Facebook over and over again was conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” she told 60 Minutes. And Facebook has repeatedly chosen to optimize for its own interests, such as increasing revenue. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Facebook Files project, “Facebook Inc.. knows its platforms are riddled with flaws that cause harm, often in ways that only the company fully comprehends. That is the main finding of a Wall Street Journal series based on an examination of internal Facebook documents such as research reports, online employee discussions, and drafts of senior management presentations. “Time and time again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects..”

The newspaper, which began publishing articles based on the leaked research files in September, added, “Time and time again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects..” Despite congressional hearings, its own pledges, and numerous media exposés, the company failed to fix them time and time again. The documents provide the clearest picture yet of how widely Facebook’s problems are known within the company, all the way up to the CEO himself. ”

While Facebook has not responded to Haugen’s interview with “60 Minutes,” its vice president of policy and global affairs, Nick Clegg, sent a memo to employees calling her statements and accusations “misleading,” and saying, “Social media has had a big impact on society in recent years, and Facebook is often a place where much of this debate plays out. According to The New York Times, “the evidence simply does not support the idea that Facebook, or social media in general, is the primary cause of polarization.”

What you need to know about Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is as follows:


1. ‘The Version of Facebook That Exists Today Is Tearing Our Societies Apart & Causing Ethnic Violence Around the World,’ Frances Haugen Told 60 Minutes

“I’ve seen a bunch of social networks, and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’d seen before,” Haugen told 60 Minutes on October 3, 2021. Imagine you know what’s going on behind the scenes at Facebook, but no one else does. I knew what my future held if I stayed inside of Facebook, which is why person after person has tackled this issue inside of Facebook and grounded themselves to the ground. Haugen “secretly copied tens of thousands of pages of Facebook internal research,” according to CBS News. She claims that evidence shows the company is deceiving the public about its progress in combating hate, violence, and misinformation. “When we live in an information environment full of angry, hateful, polarizing content, it erodes our civic trust, our faith in each other, and our ability to want to care for each other,” Haugen continued. “The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.” ”

She told 60 Minutes, “Facebook has demonstrated they cannot act independently Facebook has shown it chooses profit over safety over and over again.” It is subsidizing, and it is compensating for its profits by jeopardizing our safety. I’m hoping that this will have had enough of an impact on the world that they will have the courage and motivation to actually implement those regulations. That is my wish.




$ According to her website, Haugen was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa, as the daughter of two professors. She attended the Olin College of Engineering and Harvard Business School

. “I grew up attending the Iowa caucuses with her parents, instilling a strong sense of pride in democracy and responsibility for civic participation,” she said on the website. Haugen was a member of the debate team at Iowa City West High School, according to her LinkedIn profile. In 2002, she received her diploma from the school. According to her LinkedIn, Haugen went on to the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2006. According to her LinkedIn, Haugen was a teaching assistant and the founder and co-editor of the Olin College Yearbook while at Olin. After graduating from Olin College, Haugen went to Harvard Business School and earned an MBA in general management in 2011. “Frances Haugen is an advocate for public oversight of social media,” according to her website. We can have fun with social media that brings out the best in people.




$ Haugen, One of the First Users of Google, Worked as a Product Manager at Google, Yelp, and Pinterest

Haugen’s first job out of college was as an associate product manager at Google. On LinkedIn, she stated that she worked for Google Books and Google AdWords. From 2008 to 2009, she worked at Google as a product manager, designing the company’s first mobile book reading experience/application and discovering and developing a book search algorithm as well as a system for creating covers for 300,000 public domain books. According to her LinkedIn profile, she:

Launched Google Books’ first API and guided/worked with multiple integration partners around the world. In two weeks was able to convince enough library catalog providers to integrate that we touched over half the library catalog views in the world. Designed and launched Google Books’ first social iGoogle gadget. Primary point of contact for identifying and analyzing mass-downloaders of books using logs data.

Product managed the Adwords Report Center, a tool providing performance data to advertisers on their campaigns. Launched Radio and TV ads reporting in addition to reporting for multiple other new ad types. Launched new metrics to help advertisers better understand what fraction of their potential online advertising opportunity they were reaching to help encourage additional advertising spend.

She left Google for a short time in 2011 before returning to work as a software engineer and product manager on the company’s Knowledge Graph from 2012 to 2014. From 2015 to 2016, she worked as a product manager at Yelp, where she founded the company’s photo quality team. From 2016 to 2018, Haugen worked as a product manager at Pinterest before joining Facebook in 2019. Haugen was “part of the first wave of people to use Google back in 1996,” according to Wired in 2015. Her mother, a University of Iowa professor, showed her the search engine, which was still a Stanford University research project at the time. Haugen was astounded by what Larry Page and Sergey Brin had accomplished. ‘The idea of being able to peer into a massive mountain of data was incredible,’ she says. Since then, Haugen has been obsessed with search technology.




$ Haugen Was Also a Co-Founder & CTO at the Dating App Hinge

According to her LinkedIn profile, Haugen was also a co-founder of the dating app Hinge during her career in the tech world. She joined the company as a technical co-founder in February 2011 and served as its chief technical officer until August 2011. She also claimed to have co-founded Secret Agent Cupid, a forerunner to Hinge, in 2010. According to her LinkedIn profile, Haugen has also been a Black Rock Ranger at the Burning Man festival since August 2015. She volunteered as an assistant debate coach at Needham High School in Massachusetts during her college years. “Taught communications and life skills to high schoolers,” she wrote on LinkedIn. Provided historical and philosophical context, as well as assistance in developing arguments and responses to opposing viewpoints. Edited the cases of students. “I’ve designed and launched multiple products at Google with large multi-functional teams,” Haugen wrote on her AngelList page. I’m particularly good at spotting patterns in large, ambiguous datasets and translating them into intuitive, resonant user features. I am patient and persistent, and I believe that empathy is a valuable skill in almost every profession. ”

Haugen wrote on Twitter, “I believe we can do better..” We can create social media that brings out the best in each of us if we work together. We don’t solve problems alone; we work together to solve them. “Meet @franceshaugen_, who I’ve been calling ‘Sean’ for the past ten months,” Jeff Horwitz, the lead reporter on The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series, tweeted. She’s astute, courageous, and well-versed in Facebook. She’s also a crucial source for the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files project. From now on, Frances will be speaking for herself.




$ Frances Haugen Will Testify Before a Senate Committee and Has Filed Eight Complaints With The Securities and Exchange Commission Against Facebook

Haugen will testify before Congress on October 5, 2021. She’ll testify before the Senate Commerce Committee’s consumer protection subcommittee, which has been investigating Facebook and grilling its executives at a hearing on September 30. During the hearing, Antigone Davis, Facebook’s Global Head of Safety, told senators that the social media company would not retaliate against the then-unnamed whistleblower for making public disclosures. According to her 60 Minutes interview, Haugen and her lawyers have filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about Facebook since September. The complaints compare the company’s internal research documents and public statements, including those made by founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “As a publicly-traded company, Facebook is required to not lie to its investors or even withhold material information,” Haugen’s attorney, John Tye of the Washington legal group “Whistleblower Aid,” told 60 Minutes. As a result, the SEC regularly brings enforcement actions against companies like Facebook and others, alleging that they are making material misstatements and omissions that harm investors. “The Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed over ten years ago at this point, created an Office of the Whistleblower within the SEC,” Tye continued. One of the laws’ provisions states that no company can prevent its employees from communicating with the SEC or sharing internal corporate documents with the SEC. “She’s a perfect example of why whistleblowers are so important: without her, we wouldn’t know what we didn’t know.”

Another attorney for Haugen, Andrew Bakaj, also of “Whistleblower Aid,” told The Washington Post, “She’s a perfect example of why whistleblowers are so important: without her, we wouldn’t know what we didn’t know.” It’s significant because Big Tech is at a crossroads. It affects every aspect of our lives, whether it’s individuals or democratic institutions around the world. With such far-reaching implications, transparency is essential to oversight, and lawful whistleblowing is an important part of oversight and holding companies accountable. ”

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