Frances Haugen, the whistleblower behind the Facebook Files, has been invited to speak to MEPs in a hearing on 8th November.
Haugen has been one of other whistleblowers who have revealed how social media platforms profit from the dangerous misinformation that they circulate and therefore, they cannot be trusted to regulate their content.
“It’s easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions,” Francis Haugen said in what has been described as an explosive interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes.
In this interview, Haugen, who is a former Facebook employee, alleged that the company profits from hate speech and its own research shows that content that is “hateful, divisive and polarising” generates more revenue.
Hours after her claims went live, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp went down.
According to Haugen, Facebook knows that if they change the algorithm to a safer alternative, people will spend less time on the site, less ads will be clicked on, and the major media platform will make less money.
“Whistleblowers like Frances Haugen show the urgent need to set democratic rules for the online world in the interest of users. Her revelations lay bare the inherent conflict between the platform’s business model and users’ interests. It shows that we need strong rules for content moderation and far-reaching transparency obligations in Europe,” the Chair of Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee said.
The European Parliament is already taking strides to combat dangerous information online, recently discussing plans to address the so-called infodemic.
MEPs are already discussing how proposals outlined in the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, two crucial pieces of legislation that Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba has worked on, can be improved.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Share with someone who needs to follow