Profit over public interest; more Facebook malpractices exposed photo The Guardian
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Profit over public interest; more Facebook malpractices exposed

Oct 24, 2021, 1:49 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Columnist

Facebook is into another trouble, this time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, where an unnamed whistleblower filed a complaint accusing the platform of putting profits before stopping problematic content, weeks after another whistleblower helped stoke the firm's latest crisis with similar claims.

AN unnamed former Facebook worker reportedly told US authorities Friday the platform has put profits before stopping problematic content, weeks after another whistleblower helped stoke the firm's latest crisis with similar claims.

The new whistleblower filed a complaint with US (financial regulator) Securities and Exchange Commission that could add to the company's woes, said a Washington Post report.

Facebook has faced a storm of criticism over the past month after former employee Frances Haugen leaked internal studies showing the company knew of potential harm stoked by its sites, prompting US lawmakers to renew a push for regulation.

In the SEC complaint, the new whistleblower recounts alleged statements from 2017, when the company was deciding how to handle the controversy related to Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

The second whistleblower signed the complaint on October 13, a week after Haugen's scathing testimony before a Senate panel, according to the report.

Haugen told lawmakers that Facebook put profits over safety, which led her to leak reams of internal company studies that underpinned a damning Wall Street Journal series.

The Washington Post reported the new whistleblowers SEC filing claims the social media giant's managers routinely undermined efforts to combat misinformation and other problematic content for fear of angering then US President Donald Trump or for turning off the users who are key to profits.

Erin McPike, a Facebook spokeswoman, said the article was "beneath the Washington Post, which during the last five years would only report stories after deep reporting with corroborating sources."

Facebook has faced previous firestorms of controversy, but that has not translated into substantial new US legislation to regulate social media.

Tags: #Facebook, #USSecuritiesandExchangeCommission, #profit-focus, #technology


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