Vienna, October 7, 2021 (updated 20/10/21
by Edward Steen Secretary-General
Mark Zuckerberg is facing a Waterloo of his own making – the testimony on Capitol Hill of whistleblower Frances Haugen about the shameless misuse of Facebook to addict and mislead young people for unimaginable profit. See LIVE hearing on DW.
Is this the dramatic beginning of a long-needed settling of accounts with the exploitative electronic and financial world that has taken over our lives and distorted our democracies? The New York Times published an analysis proclaiming “a kind of slow, steady decline” for the company.
The Pandora revelations have sparked an extraordinary fight-back. Facebook and social media money-spinners such as Instagram are being exposed as knowingly doing damage, thanks to the company’s previously anonymous whistleblower.
“When we live in an information environment that is full of angry, hateful, polarizing content it erodes our civic trust, it erodes our faith in each other,” she told 60 Minutes. “It erodes our ability to want to care for each other. The version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.”
The Washington Post headlines its opinion on the matter: “It’s time to stand up to Facebook”. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost 19bn US dollars when the stock plummeted – the whole Facebook system temporarily crashed worldwide. He had already lost 15% of his vast fortune after Miss Haugen’s revelations in mid-September.
In America Zuckerberg faces (for once) bi-partisan opposition over the scandal of the company knowingly inflicting damage on children and on democracy itself. See video of the Facebook hearing in the US Senate.
CBS News earlier reported that Miss Haugen over two years secretly copied tens of thousands of pages of Facebook’s internal research. One 2021 study said “we estimate that we may action as little as 3-5% of hate and about 6-tenths of 1% of V & I [violence and incitement] on Facebook despite being the best in the world at it.”
Tech journalist on DW (Eng)- why Facebook is bad for us
CounterPunch: #Firezuck campaign started on Facebook