Since Frances Haugen spoke out against Facebook a few weeks ago, a number of significant takeaways have emerged that examine Facebook’s role in society more broadly.
Many news outlets have tackled Facebook’s failure to effectively control content that fueled hate speech, exploitation, and violence in developing countries such as India, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and the Middle East, where the platform is used to sell maids.
A major problem in this regard is that Facebook has not hired enough content moderators who have the language skills and cultural context to do so.
Moreover, Facebook’s employees felt that the tech giant was not doing enough to prevent misinformation in the 2020 US presidential election.
Supporters of incumbent President Joe Biden issued false claims that the election was rigged, leading to Trump’s suspension from the social media platform until 2023 over fears that his comments could spark violence that led to deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol in January.
According to NBC News, the tech giant’s own research showed that the platform was recommending more extremist content to its subscribers, and the documents also showed that Facebook was unwilling to regulate the Stop the Steal movement during the 2020 U.S. election.
Facebook, for its part, argued that “responsibility for the insurrection lies with those who broke the law during the attack and those who incited them.”
The documents also showed that Facebook is failing to attract teenagers to its platform, with one researcher sharing data showing that teen users in the U.S. have fallen by 13% since 2019.