New Facebook Whistleblower Says Company Undermined Efforts to Combat Hate Speech

© REUTERS / Dado RuvicA Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020.
A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.10.2021
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Bad news keeps coming for Facebook as a new whistleblower is alleging that the company repeatedly ignored hate speech, misinformation and illicit behavior on the platform in an effort to maximize profit.
In an affidavit submitted on Friday under sworn testimony, a former member of Facebook’s Integrity team has shed light on a culture that prioritizes profit over widespread concern regarding the harm the platform is causing.

According to the affidavit, amid controversy surrounding Facebook’s impact on the 2016 US presidential election, a social media platform communications official, Tucker Bounds, allegedly said that “it will be a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks, they will move onto something else. Meanwhile we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine.”

The whistleblower alleges that Facebook routinely undermined efforts to combat misinformation, hate speech, and problematic content over fear of angering the then-US president, Donald Trump, and the potential financial impact that could ensue.
A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.10.2021
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They were also highly critical of Facebook’s avoidance of policing online groups. Some groups which require an invitation to join are essentially hidden from the public eye. These groups, according to reports, have been used to facilitate illicit behavior and foster hate.
Gretchen Peters, a former journalist and leader of the Alliance to Counter Crime Online, said of Facebook that “Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives repeatedly claimed high rates of success in restricting illicit and toxic content — to lawmakers, regulators and investors — when in fact they knew the firm could not remove this content and remain profitable.”
The inner workings of Facebook, as expressed by Frances Haugen in her testimony to Congress at the beginning of October, are largely supported by the testimony of the new whistleblower. The new allegations have reportedly been brought to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Facebook has denied the allegations.
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