Facebook was aware of the intensification of many users and the flood of misinformation about the 2020 US presidential election, but the whistleblower received from various American newspapers did not react accordingly, according to Frances Hagen’s documents.
Thanks to internal reports sent in by a former employee of the California team, these revelations are the latest in a long series since the first wave of investigations was published by the Wall Street Journal in September.
On Friday, articles in the New York Times, The Washington Post and even the NBC Channel focused on Facebook’s role in the extreme polarization of political life in the United States.
In early November, just days after the poll, one analyst told his colleagues, for example, that the New York Times reported that 10% of the political content viewed by American users on the platform was confirmed to have been rigged. .
This unsubstantiated rumor by former President Donald Trump provoked the anger of many conservatives and conspirators, culminating in the January 6 Capitol riots.
Supporters of the Republican millionaire occupied Congress that day during the victory certificate of Democrat Joe Biden. Five people were killed during or shortly after the attack.
In the process, it banned Facebook, Donald Trump and other extremist movements involved in the riots, such as Twitter and other major sites.
But according to new revelations released Friday, California Group employees believe the problem could have been better anticipated.
This information was extracted from thousands of internal documents submitted by Francis Hagen to the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In early October, in the presence of U.S. senators, he reiterated that the company’s leaders, led by Mark Zuckerberg, would “fund our defense for their profits.”
She previously leaked studies on Instagram showing that Facebook is aware of the psychological problems of teenage girls who are more exposed to “perfect” life and influential bodies.
The general thread of these revelations is this: social media companies know the problems, but according to Whistleblower and other anonymous sources, have often chosen to ignore them.
Friday’s articles refer to a report entitled “Caroline Caroline’s Journey”.
Carol Smith, the “conservative mother of North Carolina”, was paid by Facebook to explore the role of the platform in user polarization, a fake account created by a researcher.
According to this researcher, in the summer of 2019, Carol Smith revealed through the means of the social network “serious, conspiratorial and shocking content”, including groups of the Conan movement.
Faced with these new waves of criticism, Facebook released a statement recalling its significant investments in cleaning up its sites and supporting the democratic process.
“But those responsible for the insurgency are those who violated the law and incited them to do so,” said Guy Rosen, deputy chairman of the Civil Integrity Committee.
This defense has little chance of appeasing the combined elected authorities against the social network.
Especially since the flood of revelations did not stop: the Federation of Ten Press Organizations from CNN to the World is preparing to publish articles based on these documents, according to a special site.
A new whistleblower has appeared, according to the Washington Post on Friday.
A former member of the Civil Integrity Committee, he filed a statement with the SEC on October 13 accusing Facebook of making a profit above human issues.
In this document, the former employee made specific comments in 2017, when the company decided on the best way to manage the controversy over Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election through its platform.
“It will be a spark in the pan. The elected officials will mourn. And in a few weeks, they will be gone. In the meantime we are printing money in the basement, everything is fine,” said Tucker Pounds, a member of the Facebook communications team.
According to the Washington Post, Facebook executives have mishandled efforts to counter misinformation and hate speech for fear of angering Donald Trump and his allies, and there is no risk of losing users’ attention, which is essential to its sheer profit.