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‘Facebook can’t keep its head in the sand’: five experts debate the company’s future

‘Facebook can’t keep its head in the sand’: five experts debate the company’s future

Facebook‘Facebook can’t keep its head in the sand’: five experts debate the company’s futureWhistleblower Frances Haugen testified the company is harming children and putting profits over safety, but what lies ahead? Johana BhuiyanThu 7 Oct 2021 06.00 EDTThe congressional testimony of Frances Haugen is being described as a potential watershed moment after the former Facebook employee turned whistleblower warned lawmakers must “act now” to rein in the social media company.But the impact of the hearing – in which Haugen used her time at Facebook and leaked internal research to build a case that it is harming children, destabilizing democracies, and putting profits over safety – is uncertain, as lawmakers, experts and regulators remain split over the path forward. The Guardian spoke to several experts across the tech industry about what could and should lie ahead for Facebook. The interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.‘Surveillance capitalism is as immoral as child labor’Roger McNamee, early Facebook investor and member of Facebook’s oversight boardFrances Haugen’s revelations and testimony before Congress are devastating to Facebook. She is courageous, authoritative, and utterly convincing. We knew about the issues before, but she changed the game by providing internal documents that prove Facebook’s management had early warning of many horrible problems and chose not to take appropriate steps. In her testimony, she confirmed that the incentives of Facebook’s business model lead to the amplification of fear and outrage to the detriment of public health and democracy.When …

Facebook whistleblower’s testimony could finally spark action in Congress

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Facebook whistleblower’s testimony could finally spark action in Congress

FacebookFacebook whistleblower’s testimony could finally spark action in CongressDespite years of hearings, the company has long seemed untouchable. But Frances Haugen appears to have inspired rare bipartisanship Kari PaulWed 6 Oct 2021 08.14 EDTFirst published on Wed 6 Oct 2021 01.00 EDTThe testimony of Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, is likely to increase pressure on US lawmakers to undertake concrete legislative actions against the formerly untouchable tech company, following years of hearings and circular discussions about big tech’s growing power.In a hearing on Tuesday, the whistleblower shared internal Facebook reports with Congress and argued the company puts “astronomical profits before people”, harms children and is destabilizing democracies.Facebook harms children and is damaging democracy, claims whistleblowerRead moreAfter years of sparring over the role of tech companies in past American elections, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on Tuesday appeared to agree on the need for new regulations that would change how Facebook targets users and amplifies content.“Frances Haugen’s testimony appears to mark a rare moment of bipartisan consensus that the status quo is no longer acceptable,” said Imran Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit that fights hate speech and misinformation. “This is increasingly becoming a non-political issue and one that has cut through definitively to the mainstream.”On Wednesday morning Richard Blumenthal, chair of the Senate commerce sub-committee that hosted Haugen the day before, condemned Facebook again …

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Facebook whistleblower accuses firm of serially misleading over safety

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Facebook whistleblower accuses firm of serially misleading over safety

FacebookFacebook whistleblower accuses firm of serially misleading over safety Frances Haugen filed at least eight complaints against the company regarding its approach to safety Dan Milmo Global technology editorTue 5 Oct 2021 07.50 EDTLast modified on Tue 5 Oct 2021 08.44 EDTThe Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen, who testifies at the US Congress on Tuesday, has filed at least eight complaints with the US financial watchdog accusing the social media company of serially misleading investors and politicians over its approach to safety.The complaints, published online by the news programme 60 Minutes late on Monday, hours before Haugen’s testimony to US senators at 10am EDT (3pm BST), are based on tens of thousands of internal documents that Haugen copied shortly before she quit Facebook in May.The complaints and testimony from Haugen, who stepped forward on Sunday as the source of a damning series of revelations in the Wall Street Journal, are taking place against a backdrop of operational chaos for Facebook, whose platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp, went offline around the world for nearly six hours on Monday.The first whistleblower complaint filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission relates to the 6 January riots in Washington, when crowds of protesters stormed the Capitol, and alleges that Facebook knowingly chose to permit political misinformation and contests statements made by its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to the contrary.“Our anonymous client is disclosing original evidence showing that Facebook … has, for years past and ongoing, …

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As a whistleblower prepares to speak out, what can be done to rein in Facebook?

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As a whistleblower prepares to speak out, what can be done to rein in Facebook?

FacebookAs a whistleblower prepares to speak out, what can be done to rein in Facebook?Pressure grows on social network after US senators challenge Instagram over impact of app on children’s mental health Dan Milmo Global technology editorSat 2 Oct 2021 01.00 EDTLast modified on Sat 2 Oct 2021 05.28 EDTUS lawmakers have left Facebook in no doubt this week that revelations about the impact of its Instagram app on teen mental health have further damaged the company’s reputation. The Democrat senator Richard Blumenthal said the social network was “indefensibly delinquent” in its behaviour and had “chosen growth over children’s mental health”, after the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that Facebook’s internal research had flagged concerns that its photo-sharing app was damaging the wellbeing of young users.The pressure on Facebook is likely to increase on Sunday when a whistleblower appears on US TV to claim that the company is lying to the public and investors about the effectiveness of its attempts to remove hate, violence and misinformation from its platforms.The whistleblower, who has submitted thousands of internal documents to the US financial regulator, will then appear at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.The WSJ report and the whistleblower’s appearance take place against a backdrop of active attempts to rein in the power of Facebook and other tech companies. Here are some of the proposals being considered for regulating Facebook.A break-upThe US competition watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission, has lodged a lawsuit demanding that …

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Facebook oversight board to review system that exempts elite users

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FacebookFacebook oversight board to review system that exempts elite usersThe XCheck program allows some users to be ‘whitelisted’ or allowed to post material that violates the company’s policies G …

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Facebook: some high-profile users ‘allowed to break platform’s rules’

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Facebook: some high-profile users ‘allowed to break platform’s rules’

Facebook: some high-profile users ‘allowed to break platform’s rules’ XCheck system ‘whitelists’ well-known users who are given special treatment, says Wall Street Journal report Dan Milmo Global technology editor, Mon 13 Sep 2021 15.50 EDT — Facebook gives high-profile users special treatment, which includes immunity from its rules for some, and allowed Brazilian footballer Neymar […]

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Ethiopia starts building local rival to Facebook

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Ethiopia starts building local rival to Facebook Government wants its own social media platform to replace Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Zoom Ethiopia has begun developing its own social media platform to rival Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, though it does not plan to block the global services, the state communications security agency has said. For the […]

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FTC complaint against Facebook seeks to break up company’s monopoly power

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US renews fight with Facebook arguing company holds monopoly The agency also dismissed a request by the tech giant that chair Lina Khan recuse herself from the case   Kari Paul in San Francisco, Thu 19 Aug 2021 16.17 EDT — The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday refiled its antitrust case against Facebook, arguing the […]

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Culture Change and Conflict at Twitter

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Culture Change and Conflict at Twitter

Two years ago, the company brought in a blunt executive to make things move faster and to promote diversity. Then the problems began.

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How Facebook Failed to Stem Racist Abuse of England’s Soccer Players

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How Facebook Failed to Stem Racist Abuse of England’s Soccer Players

For more than two years, soccer officials pushed the social network to limit the invective. As a new season begins, the hate continues.

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