Analysis: Zuckerberg sues Facebook whistleblower, but he’s floundering
Her main argument was that Haugen was taking Facebook’s research into its impact on children – among the tens of thousands of pages of internal documents and research she had taken before leaving the company – out of context. In essence, he argued that she could not be trusted to properly describe the company’s findings, claiming that she painted a “false image of the company.”
But while Facebook employs many talented and diligent researchers, its senior executive is not trustworthy when it comes to sharing the work of these researchers with the public.
The report covered Facebook data for the second quarter of this year, and Facebook suggested it paints a rather rosy picture. “A lot of the top pages focused on sharing content about pets, cooking, family,” Facebook said.
There was a catch. The research report focused on the second quarter of 2021 – but what about the first quarter? Hadn’t Facebook collected data and written a report for the first three months of 2021?
That a news article with clear potential to be reshared in a way that compromises immunization safety would be one of the most popular content on Facebook in the midst of a pandemic did not match the image that Company executives are trying to project: that anti-vaccine sentiment is not rampant on the platform and society is not contributing to the US vaccine reluctance problem.
When the research finally leaked to The Times, Facebook said, “We are guilty of cleaning up our house a bit before we invited from the company,” said Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook.
Bringing in an auditor might be a welcome move, but when it comes to the company’s handling of its engagement reports earlier this year, the very blatant selection of which research to make public and hide raises the question. question: what else does Facebook do know that doesn’t mean anything to us? And who is really creating a “false image” of the company and its impact on society?
A low level employee
Facebook’s other attempt to undermine the whistleblower was to portray Haugen as a low-level employee who doesn’t know what she’s talking about. But this strategy seems to be backfiring as well.
After his testimony on Tuesday, Facebook described Haugen as “a former product manager at Facebook who worked for the company for less than two years, had no direct report, never attended a decision point meeting with C-level executives.
This prompted Chakrabati to respond on Twitter: “Well, I was there for over 6 years, had a lot of direct reports and led a lot of decision meetings with C-level leaders, and I find the views divided on the need for algorithmic regulation, transparency of research, and independent oversight to be fully valid for debate. ”
Unfortunately for Facebook, Haugen is on to something.