Another whistleblower shows Facebook needs regulation

Today, The Washington Post reported that a second Facebook whistleblower came forward detailing sketchy internal conversations and decisions that show it is time for the U.S. Congress and Federal Trade Commission to regulate Facebook, and other big tech companies.

The new, currently anonymous whistleblower claimed, in an affidavit to the Securities and Exchange Commission, that the company repeatedly “undermined efforts to fight misinformation, hate speech and other problematic content.” The whistleblower argued Facebook made these decisions to avoid angering former President Trump and his allies and to protect the company’s bottom line.

These new allegations come hot off the heels of the first Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony in front of the U.S. Senate in early October, which included similar claims. Her testimony focused on how Facebook repeatedly “prioritized profits over the safety of its users.” The company makes decisions to fuel growth, Ms. Haugen said, to the detriment of society.

“Facebook cannot govern itself,” said Eric Null, U.S. Policy Manager at Access Now. “The company repeatedly fails to live up to its promises, and, thanks to the whistleblowers and other prominent research, we have the receipts. Given what we now know about Facebook’s singular focus on growth over addressing its destructive behavior, and that it has been perpetuating and causing civil rights-related harms, Congress and the FTC need to crack down on Facebook and all Big Tech companies. Legislation, or FTC rules, should include strict data protection provisions that put an end to the pernicious hyper-targeting and data-obsessed advertising business model. Without it, Facebook, and Big Tech in general, will continue to wreak havoc at home and around the world.”