We are now in social media's Big Tobacco moment. And that’s largely thanks to the courage of one woman: Frances Haugen.
Frances is a specialist in algorithmic product management. She worked at Google, Pinterest, and Yelp before joining Facebook — first as a Product Manager on Civic Misinformation, and then on the Counter-Espionage team. But what she saw at Facebook was that the company consistently and knowingly prioritized profits over public safety. So Frances made the courageous decision to blow the whistle — which resulted in the biggest disclosure in the history of Facebook, and in the history of social media.
In this special interview, co-hosts Tristan and Aza go behind the headlines with Frances herself. We go deeper into the problems she exposed, discuss potential solutions, and explore her motivations — along with why she fundamentally believes change is possible. We also announce an exciting campaign being launched by the Center for Humane Technology — to use this window of opportunity to make Facebook safer.
Frances Haugen is a specialist in algorithmic product management, having worked on ranking algorithms at Google, Pinterest, Yelp and Facebook. She was recruited to Facebook to be the lead Product Manager on the Civic Misinformation team, which dealt with issues related to democracy and misinformation, and later also worked on counter-espionage.
During her time at Facebook, Frances became increasingly alarmed by the choices the company makes prioritizing their own profits over public safety and putting people's lives at risk. As a last resort and at great personal risk, Frances made the courageous decision to blow the whistle on Facebook.
Frances fundamentally believes that the problems we are facing today with social media are solvable. We can have social media that brings out the best in humanity.
SUPPORT FRANCES HAUGEN
It took extraordinary courage and personal risk for Frances to blow the whistle against a $1 trillion market cap company. Please support her whistleblower protection by donating to Whistleblower Aid: https://www.gofundme.com/f/facebook-whistleblower
The Wall Street Journal’s investigation into Facebook, using documents Haugen disclosed
Haugen revealing her identity publicly for the first time, on CBS’ 60 Minutes
Frances Haugen’s testimony before Senate Commerce Committee
The original article by environmental scientist and systems theorist Donella Meadows, which led to the 12-leverage point framework
Our campaign to pressure Facebook to make one immediate change — join us!