Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen On The ‘Chaos Era’ Of Social Media & The Future of Public Discourse
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Determined to bring transparency and accountability to Big Tech, in 2021 Frances Haugen risked everything to blow the whistle on Facebook.
She copied tens of thousands of pages of documents that revealed that the social media giant had accidentally changed its algorithm to reward extremism. Even worse, Facebook knew its customers were using the platform to foment violence and spread falsehoods—and refused to fix it.
Frances testified to Congress and spoke to the media. She was hailed at President Biden’s first State of the Union Address. She made sure everyone understood exactly what the documents showed. And she set an example for standing in truth and doing what is right for the greater good.
Today we dive into the nuanced impact of social media on society. We talk about why algorithms prioritize extreme content and Facebook’s own complicity in radicalization and political violence around the world. We explore the tools available to combat these issues, including what Big Tech can do to prioritize user consent and reduce misinformation and hate speech.
Note: If this exchange leaves you wanting more, Frances has written a compelling and comprehensive book about her experience entitled: The Power of One.
Ultimately Frances left me with a surprising sentiment: the belief that we can have social media that brings out the best in humanity.
This is a fascinating and important conversation. I hope you learn as much as I did.
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