Facebook whistleblower Haugen launches nonprofit for healthier social media

Facebook whistleblower Francis Haugen reacts during an interview with Reuters ahead of a meeting with German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht on November 3, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.

Michele Tantussi | Reuters

Ex Facebook Activist-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen announced Thursday a new nonprofit aimed at making social media healthier.

Drawing on his experience as a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, the new team builds on the solutions he proposes to lawmakers and social media companies on how to make sites safer.

Haugen has become a well-known figure since and after leaking tens of thousands of pages of internal documents “60 Minutes” reveals his identity Last year. She too Testified before Congress.

“Beyond The Screen” will begin by creating an open-source database of “big tech failings in its legal and ethical obligations to society,” a press release said, detailing potential solutions. The group, which aims to identify gaps in research about online harm and come up with ways to fill them, calls it a “duty of care.”

The contents of the leaked documents, which Hagan turned over to lawmakers and the Securities and Exchange Commission, were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Those statements described the company’s knowledge of its product Sometimes harmful to children and adolescents, Different content measurement standards for high profile accounts and struggles to deal with potentially harmful content in different languages ​​and cultural contexts.

Facebook previously said the documents were cherry-picked and their framing skewed away from positive interpretations of the data. Facebook parent company Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Haugen’s new venture.

Haugen has recently advocated for specific laws in the U.S. and abroad that aim to make social media safer for children. Hagen He voiced her support The California Age-Friendly Design Code Act, which Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed the legislation into law. The law would require many sites to design their services with children’s privacy and safety in mind, and to prevent soliciting minors to provide personal or location information. Technology industry groups argued that the language was too broad and burdensome on many platforms.

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