The whistleblower who identified herself as Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the Mark Zuckerberg-led company had introduced the safety measures after it recognized the risk of misinformation to the 2020 election.
Haugen said that the platform engaged in “betrayal of democracy” when it scaled back anti-misinformation efforts following the 2020 presidential election. Frances Haugen, who quit her job at Facebook in May, told CBS’s Scott Pelley during an interview on “60 Minutes,” which aired on Sunday, that the company implemented safety systems ahead of the 2020 election in an effort to reduce misinformation, but many of them ended up being temporary.
She said the company ultimately prioritized growth over safety. “And as soon as the election was over, they turned them back off or they changed the settings back to what they were before to prioritize growth over safety. And that really feels like a betrayal of democracy to me,” Haugen told Pelley.
An internal Facebook task force reportedly found that the company failed to take proper action against users on the platform to coordinate the “Stop the Steal” rally that turned into an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Facebook has since refuted these claims and said it “contained deliberate mischaracterizations of what we are trying to do, and conferred egregiously false motives to Facebook’s leadership and employees.”