On Monday, it was announced that Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will meet with the Facebook Oversight Board to discuss her concerns with the company.
Facebook’s Oversight Committee released a statement saying, “In light of the serious claims made about Facebook by Ms. Haugen we have extended an invitation for her to speak to the Board over the coming weeks, which she has accepted. Board members appreciate the chance to discuss Ms. Haugen’s experiences and gather the information that can help push for greater transparency and accountability from Facebook through our case decisions and recommendations.”
Haugen has confirmed that she will be visiting with the board, adding that “Facebook has lied to the board repeatedly, and I am looking forward to sharing the truth with them.” The purpose of this oversight board is to assess appeals for content decisions on Facebook’s different platforms. The board began hearing cases in October of 2020. In Monday’s statement, the board added that they will evaluate “whether Facebook has been fully forthcoming in its responses on ‘cross-check’ system” alongside Haugen’s claims.
Haugen had previously leaked thousands of pages of documents to lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal from Facebook before revealing her identity on a “60 Minutes” interview earlier this month (CNN Business). In the interview, she stated that the social media company continues to prioritize profit over the well-being of its users. Haugen testified during a Senate subcommittee hearing last week, where she went into more detail regarding her concerns.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook’s cross-check program exempted high-profile uses from some of their content moderation rules (CBS News). This comes after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated publicly that all users are equally held accountable to their rules. Zuckerberg also commented on Haugen’s testimony, telling people that the “idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being” is “just not true.”
Facebook has approached the oversight board for recommendations in the past, in particular, the suspension of Donald Trump for the company’s platforms. The oversight board, which consists of a group of lawyers, professors, journalists, and human rights activists, aims to hold Facebook accountable.