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New whistleblower accuses Facebook of prioritising profits over fighting ‘hate speech’

The new allegations echoed the claims made by fellow whistleblower Frances Haugen, who delivered a scathing testimony before Congress earlier this month on Facebook's moral failings.

New whistleblower accuses Facebook of prioritising profits over fighting hate speech-dnm
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Washington D.C., First Published Oct 23, 2021, 10:48 AM IST
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A former Facebook employee turning into a new whistleblower has accused the social media giant of prioritizing profits over combating or banning so-called “hate speech,” misinformation and other threats to the public.

In an affidavit filed Friday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the unidentified former Facebook employee alleged that Facebook officials "routinely undermined efforts to fight misinformation, hate speech and other problematic content" to avoid angering then-President Donald Trump or potentially dampening user growth, according to the Washington Post.

The new allegations echoed the claims made by fellow whistleblower Frances Haugen, who delivered a scathing testimony before Congress earlier this month on Facebook's moral failings.

The report identified the new whistleblower as a former member of Facebook’s Integrity Team and the newspaper said it knew his or her identity. The new source also made allegations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees and monitors publicly traded companies, the report said.

The new complaint accuses Facebook leadership -- including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg -- of failing to warn investors about the severity of the social network's problems, according to the Post, which said it obtained a copy of the affidavit.

'I, working for Facebook, bad been a party to genocide,' the whistleblower wrote. 

Also read: Facebook to pay French media for news content shown on users' feeds

Building on Haugen's statements, the anonymous whistleblower, who worked on Facebook's Integrity Team, also shared a story about a top company official brushing aside worries of election interference, the Washington Post reports.

Facebook questioned the sourcing of the Washington Post report. "This is beneath the Washington Post, which during the last five years would only report stories after deep reporting with corroborating sources," said Facebook spokesperson Erin McPike in an emailed statement.

A spokesperson for the SEC said the agency doesn't comment on the "existence or nonexistence of possible whistleblower submissions."

This is the first time the company has faced such accusations since the internal memos released and testimony given by Haugen.

The US corporate media recently published reports showing that Facebook was aware of its platforms being a toxic environment for young girls among other problems but did not do enough to address them. The reports were largely based on internal documents provided by Haugen.

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