The 37-year-old former Facebook product manager who worked on civic integrity issues at the company says the documents show that Facebook knows its platforms are used to spread hate, violence and misinformation, and that the company has tried to hide that evidence.
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook, and Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money,” Haugen told “60 Minutes.”
“I’ve seen a bunch of social networks, and it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I’ve seen before,” Haugen said. “At some point in 2021, I realized I’m going to have to do this in a systemic way, that I’m going to have to get out enough [documents] that no one can question that this is real.”
“Every day our teams have to balance protecting the ability of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe and positive place,” Facebook spokesperson Lena Pietsch said in a statement to CNN Business following the “60 Minutes” interview. “We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content. To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
Facebook Vice President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday morning ahead of the 60 Minutes interview that “there is no perfection on social media as much as in any other walk of life.”
“We do a huge amount of research, we share it with external researchers as much as we can, but do remember there is … a world of difference between doing a peer-reviewed exercise in cooperation with other academics and preparing papers internally to provoke and inform internal discussion,” Clegg said.
Haugen said she believes Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg “never set out to make a hateful platform, but he has allowed choices to be made where the side effects of those choices are that hateful and…