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How Facebook deals with hate speech is being misrepresented, whistleblower reveals

The former employee said that she found the situation in Facebook to be ‘substantially worse’ than in other organisations.

“I thought I knew how bad misinformation was then I learned what it (Facebook) was doing in countries that don’t speak English,” Facebook Files whistleblower Frances Haugen told the Washington Post in an interview on October 4. Haugen also did an interview with CBS News in an episode of its '60 minutes' show where she first revealed her identity as the whistleblower; this was followed by other interviews and a senate hearing with the subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The 'Facebook Files' refers to a series of stories published by the Wall Street Journal in September on internal research that Haugen leaked after she left the company, revealing Facebook's failure to take action in spite of being aware of its harmful effects on people, including teenagers. With 2.8 billion users across the globe, Facebook's products and policies have massive influence worldwide - but especially in India where it has a 330 million-strong userbase. Last year, Facebook India Head Ajit Mohan was summoned by a Delhi Legislative Assembly committee that was formed to investigate Facebook's role in the 2019 Delhi riots. Before that, Wall Street Journal published an exposé accusing Ankhi Das, former Facebook India’s top public policy executive, of showing favouritism towards the ruling party of India. What did Haugen reveal? How much Facebook engaged with hate speech: Haugen revealed that internal research at Facebook misrepresents its progress in dealing with misinformation, violence, and hate speech on its platform. She said that an internal study conducted this year estimated that…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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