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Facebook critics love whistleblower Frances Haugen’s leaks but hate her policy ideas

Facebook critics have a Frances Haugen drawback: Many love that the whistleblower leaked a trove of paperwork exposing most of the tech big’s worst issues — but hate her ideas on find out how to resolve them. 

Haugen has repeatedly insisted that breaking up Meta Platforms — the corporate that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, and which modified its identify from Facebook final month amid a torrent of dangerous press — is not going to resolve the problems she has helped uncover. Those embody Instagram’s poisonous results on teen psychological well being and the corporate’s struggles to crack down on human trafficking. 

Instead, Haugen has insisted in interviews and in Congressional testimony that the corporate’s woes are primarily the results of poor management below Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who has deployed algorithms that run its social-networking apps to incentivize engagement at any price.

“These systems are going to continue to exist and be dangerous even if broken up,” Haugen instructed Congress in October.

Such feedback have left dangerous tastes within the mouths of many Meta critics, who initially praised Haugen’s leaks as a breakthrough as they search to carry Facebook accountable for its more and more outsize energy. 

“She turned over the documents — great,” Mike Davis, head of the conservative anti-Big Tech group the Internet Accountability Project, instructed The Post. “Thank you for your service. Now go away.” 

Mark Zuckerberg in a jacket and tie
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook modified its identify to Meta in October amid a torrent of dangerous press.
Getty Images

“She’s not a policy expert, especially not in antitrust,” stated Davis, who beforehand labored for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and helps a slate of House antitrust payments, together with one that might break up Meta, Google and different large tech corporations. 

Instead of slicing the corporate into items, Haugen instructed lawmakers that the federal government ought to go away Meta complete and create a brand new regulator that might be capable of request firm knowledge and pressure modifications to its algorithms.

“There needs to be a regulatory home where someone like me could do a tour of duty after working at a place like this,” Haugen stated. 

Haugen doubled down on the concept in a Vogue interview on Tuesday, saying that calls to interrupt up the corporate are “so reductive” and will even violate the primary modification. 

“At which point, the way we will get change is if, like, we have 18-year-olds having dance parties outside Mark Zuckerberg’s house,” added Haugen within the interview, which was accompanied by a photoshoot. 

Frances Haugen testifying
“Thank you for your service. Now go away,” Mike Davis of the conservative Internet Accountability Project stated of Frances Haugen.

But Haugen’s perception that Meta’s harms don’t inherently come from its dimension but fairly from its management and an absence of oversight is misguided, in keeping with Matt Stoller, an antitrust professional and former adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“The documents were useful but she’s not relevant,” Stoller instructed The Post, including that Haugen “doesn’t really have any understanding of the core problem.”

“She basically agrees with Mark Zuckerberg,” he added. “She wants Mark Zuckerberg to be nicer.” 

A outstanding Republican lobbyist additionally slammed Haugen, arguing that opening Facebook as much as higher competitors would assist tackle points together with Instagram’s detrimental results on teenagers.  

“Haugen and her largely Democratic supporters are looking at the wrong solution,” the lobbyist instructed The Post. 

“We do not need a super speech regulator,” the lobbyist added. “We need to solve the market power problem.”

Facebook logo
Facebook might be pressured to dump belongings like Instagram and WhatsApp if its most stringent critics get their approach.

Influential digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in the meantime, has sought to string the needle by utilizing Haugen’s testimony to bolster their case for breaking up the corporate with out acknowledging that she opposes the concept.

“Facebook’s broken system is fueled by a growth-at-any-cost model, as indicated by some of the testimony Haugen delivered to Congress,” the group wrote in November. “In other words, Facebook’s badness is inextricably tied to its bigness.”

“Requiring Facebook to divest Instagram, WhatsApp, and possibly other acquisitions and limiting the companies’ future mergers and acquisitions would go a long way toward solving some of the problems with the company, and inject competition into a field where it’s been stifled for many years now,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation added.

Frances Haugen
“These systems are going to continue to exist and be dangerous even if broken up,” Haugen instructed Congress in October.
Getty Images

Meta and Bill Burton, a former Obama administration communications staffer who represents Haugen, didn’t reply to requests for remark.

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