Facebook long aware of harms its apps cause, new documents show

Tech giant's practices violated its own rules on misinformation, hate speech.

Facebook long aware of harms its apps cause, new documents show

Facebook has long been aware of the harms of its applications and services, according to new internal documents sent to multiple news outlets on Friday.

Documents leaked by a whistleblower revealed that the social media giant does not try to prevent or rectify the issues.

One of the documents showed a Facebook researcher created an account for a test user named Carol Smith for an experiment in the summer of 2019.

Just two days after joining the platform, Smith, who was described as a conservative mother from North Carolina, was given recommendations by Facebook to join groups dedicated to QAnon – a conspiracy theory movement.

Although Smith did not follow the QAnon groups, her feed was filled with related groups and pages within a week, which showed that Facebook’s practices violated its own rules against misinformation and hate speech.

After supporters of former US President Donald Trump raided Capitol Hill on Jan. 6, Facebook employees were unprepared to prevent Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement, the documents showed.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, first leaked internal documents earlier this month.

She told a Senate committee that choices being made inside Facebook are “disastrous” for children, public safety and privacy, and stressed that “congressional action is needed.”


Hüseyin Demir