What did Frances Haugen say to the National Assembly?

Invited by the National Assembly, the whistleblower spoke of the measures that states must adopt to regulate Facebook’s activities.

Frances Haugen goes into battle against her former employer: Facebook. This data scientist who worked for Mark Zuckerberg’s firm between 2019 and 2020 revealed an internal study conducted by Instagram on theimpact than to the social network on its young users. Several weeks after these Facebook Files, which tarnished the reputation of the Menlo Park company, she answered questions from French deputies on the impact of Facebook on democratic functioning. Back to the topics that were discussed.

Regulation of social networks

The establishment of a legislative framework to regulate the activities of Facebook and other social networks is the workhorse of Frances Haugen. A little less than a year after the invasion of Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, she calls for not just focusing on illegal content. “These contents are not necessarily illegal, but they can be harmful”. She believes that creating new laws should help platforms protect democracy, access to information and more generally users.

She cited as an example the case of anorexic users, who are offered groups and content relating to food. “Democracies need to do what they always have done when business activities impact the safety of communities and populations, new laws need to be put in place.”

“You have to be able to have access to all of Facebook’s data”

Frances Haugen also denounced the lack of transparency of social platforms.

“You have to be able to access all of Facebook’s data, in a cautious manner so as not to harm data protection, so that regulators have the opportunity to assess the risks”.

She believes that it is essential to know the inner workings of Facebook and social networks in order to be able to act.

“We have to show that transparency and oversight can work. Let’s not forget that we were once at a crossroads, there was a time when it was said that cigarettes with filters were better than cigarettes without filters, nevertheless, these same cigarettes continued to pose a health risk. Today, we can’t do this kind of analysis with Facebook, we just have to believe Facebook ”

Profits come before user safety

“I noticed that Facebook always puts its financial interests ahead of the health of users” asserts Frances Haugen in front of the deputies. She explains that hateful content targets the most vulnerable populations and that it is the responsibility of social networks to offer tools capable of stemming the phenomenon. “Facebook has become a trillion dollar business at the expense of security. This is unacceptable.”

She concluded her intervention by warning users against the Metaverse. The virtual reality tool, which aims to become an open space in which users can roam, work or exchange freely. This is one of the big projects of the company and it also worries the whistleblower. “The metaverse is a matter of great concern. Their vision of being in the work environment is very worrying ”.

She ended by recalling the importance of whistleblowers and the preservation of this status. The entire intervention of Frances Haugen is to find here.

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