What Facebook ‘whistleblower’ Frances Haugen really wants: more censorship of conservative views
By Victoria Marshall | The NY Post
How convenient that Facebook “whistleblower” Frances Haugen just gave the social network another excuse to crack down on conservative content.
In her congressional testimony Tuesday, Haugen, a data scientist, called on Congress to enact more regulations on her former employer to combat misinformation on the platform, saying the company puts profits over public safety.
At issue for Haugen is Facebook’s algorithm, which in 2018 the company changed to prioritize high-engagement content, thereby contributing — according to Haugen — to increased divisiveness and polarization among users. Haugen even went so far as to say that Facebook’s switching off of “safeguards” after the 2020 election led to the Jan. 6 US Capitol riot.
Whatever you think of the Capitol riot, Facebook did not cause it. The way Haugen used the word “insurrection” hinted of her likely progressive-lefty politics — revealing her true motives. And what Haugen means by “safeguards” is no doubt censoring of conservative content, in a way Post readers know all too well.
That’s her main objective: censorship. She wants a complete overhaul of the content-moderation rules on Facebook, including an “independent” governmental body overseeing such changes. And as a good progressive, she pushes these new regulations under the guise of “safety.”
Facebook has demonstrated they cannot act independently,” Haugen told “60 Minutes.” The company “over and over again chooses its profits over safety. It is subsidizing — it is paying for its profits — with our safety, and I’m hoping that this will have a big enough impact on the world that they get the fortitude and the motivation to actually go put those regulations into place.”
Like clockwork, a couple of hours after Haugen’s congressional testimony, Facebook’s Director of Policy Communications Lena Pietsch jumped on Haugen’s push for more regulations.
“We don’t agree with her characterization of the many issues she testified about,” Pietsch said in a statement. “Despite all this, we agree on one thing; it’s time to begin to create standard rules for the Internet. It’s been 25 years since the rules for the Internet have been updated, and instead of expecting the industry to make societal decisions that belong to legislators, it is time for Congress to act.”
It seems like Haugen and Facebook have been on the same side this entire time. And it makes sense, as Haugen doesn’t actually want to break up Facebook.
Instead, she’d like the company to remain a billion-dollar monopoly imposing extreme-content regulations on its users. All while this is overseen by a federal agency created at her behest and staffed, no doubt, by former Facebook employees.
Haugen did leak some important information on Facebook’s coverup of Instagram’s negative effects on teen girls’ mental health (although who doesn’t know this to be true?) and its lax treatment of drug cartels and human traffickers on its platform. But her drive for censorship won’t remotely fix those issues.
Her objective is censorship. She wants Facebook and Instagram — and all social-media companies, for that matter — to enact “safeguards” to combat “misinformation” and “hate.” However, given the hyper-politicized arena and the Democrats’ past form for weaponizing supposedly impartial government agencies to push a progressive-elitist agenda, many will assume this means banning of conservative content or that which is negative to the Democratic Party.
It is one thing to propose an independent body to force Big Tech platforms to reveal the mechanics behind their algorithmic machines of virality to spark a transparent discussion about how information is distributed and controlled. But it is far more perilous to police what is “acceptable” or “fact.” Without proper independence and rigor, it has been proven time and again that what is deemed fact — and what is not — merely depends on whether the person in charge wants it to be.
In this case, without once defining either “misinformation,” or “hate,” (again, the subtext was clearly right-wing content all along), Haugen opened the door for all content Silicon Valley dislikes to be banned.
If that happens, say goodbye forever to stories like The Post’s exposé of Hunter Biden’s e-mails, which Facebook banned. Or suggestions that COVID may have originated at the Wuhan lab — the theme of another squelched Post column long before the idea gained broader acceptance.
Some whistleblower, Frances Haugen. She just gave Big Tech and its progressive buddies the go-ahead to ramp up its censorship — and control of the American public.
Victoria Marshall is the Collegiate Network Fellow at The Post.