Facebook whistleblowers seem to be giving the company a hard time this month. A second whistleblower after Frances Haugen has surfaced with damning allegations on the company. The Washington Post reported it first, and the whistleblower’s name has been redacted for now.
According to the affidavit filed by the whistleblower to the SEC, Facebook is accused of keeping critical information from its investors. The affidavit also claims that the company kept a “white list” of VIPs that were exempted from ordinary rules. Lastly, the unnamed whistleblower accuses the company of profiting off hate by not acting on ill-monitored Facebook groups.
Facebook Whistleblower Backs Haugen’s Claims
Before this affidavit, Frances Haugen came forward as a whistleblower and talked about how Instagram ignored its ill effects on teens. While Facebook denied that story and presented its own argument, we analyzed it and concluded that the research itself was inadequate.
The new whistleblower is reportedly a former member of Facebook’s integrity team. The whistleblower’s affidavit to the SEC says that the company is withholding information from its investors.
The Russian Connection
The affidavit even quotes Tucker Bounds, a VP of communications at Facebook, commenting on the Russian interference in the U.S. elections. According to the affidavit, Bounds said “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.”
Facebook has been accused of underplaying and then covering up Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. An Ugly Truth is a recent book by two New York Times Journalists, who also point out how Facebook chose not to act, despite damning evidence of interference in the 2016 elections.
Rampant Ignorance In Facebook
After the ignorance part, the Facebook whistleblower accuses the company of keeping a “white list”. They say that senior company officials, including Facebook’s VP of global policy, Joel Kaplan, were aware of this list.
According to the affidavit, this white list had the names of people close to Donald Trump and that these people were exempt from Facebook’s ordinary rules. These rules are Facebook’s community guidelines that usually have the power to remove or limit misinformation, hate speech, and other controversial content.
It gives the example of Breitbart News, run then by former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who was close to Trump. The whistleblower says that it was one of the publications exempt from Facebook’s rules.
Lastly, the affidavit accuses Facebook of ignoring ill-monitored groups. The Facebook whistleblower claims when they raised concern about the groups, an official told him “We need to focus on the good.”
The whistleblower hasn’t come forward with their name yet but backs several of Haugen’s claims. This is the second Facebook official to blow the whistle on the company in one month. Before this, an internal survey showed that almost 50% of Facebook employees don’t think it has a positive effect on the world.
Amidst this, the company is rumored to change its name. Do you think changing names could be better for Facebook’s image? Let us know in the comments.