Frances Haugen, former Facebook product manager and US whistleblower, has launched a group to create a healthier version of social media. According to her research, it’s not safe for children and teens to use social media platforms at this age and time.
Facebook whistleblower launches nonprofit to make social media ‘healthier’
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is launching a nonprofit that aims to improve social media and make a healthier online environment, the new group announced.
Haugen said her Beyond the Screen organization will focus on “tangible solutions to help users gain control” of their experience on social media.
“We can have social media that brings out the best in us, and that’s what Beyond the Screen is working toward. We’re excited to collaborate with like-minded partners and organizations, like Project Liberty and Common Sense Media, that share our commitment to supporting healthier social media,” Haugen said in the announcement.
The group’s first mission will be a “Duty of Care” project that will create an open-source database to document how tech giants are failing in legal and ethical obligations and outline potential solutions, according to the announcement.
The launch comes roughly a year after Haugen released more than 20,000 pages of internal Facebook documents. The former Facebook executive testified before lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad about the documents and potential solutions to mitigate harms for kids and teens online, as well as issues surrounding disinformation and the spread of extremism.
Facebook, now under the parent company name Meta, pushed back on the allegations leveled by Haugen in October. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company was being “mischaracterized” by Haugen’s testimony and comments.
Facebook whistleblower launches nonprofit to solve social media harms
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is launching a nonprofit organization that will seek solutions to harms created by social media, she said on Thursday.
The former product manager at Facebook, since renamed Meta Platforms (META.O), made headlines last year after coming out as the source of thousands of leaked internal documents, which she said detailed the social media company’s failures to protect teen girls on Instagram and clamp down on vaccine misinformation.
Facebook has consistently said it disagrees with Haugen’s characterization.
Her nonprofit, Beyond the Screen, will create an open database to document ways that Big Tech companies are failing their “ethical obligations to society” and outline possible solutions, according to a press release.
It will partner with Project Liberty, an organization working to build a new operating protocol for social networking, and Common Sense Media, which advocates for safe media content for kids.
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen launches nonprofit to make social media healthier
Former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen announced a new nonprofit with the goal of making social media healthier.
“Beyond the Screen” will start by creating an open-source database of ways “Big Tech is failing in its legal and ethical obligations to society,” according to a press release, and detail potential solutions.
Since revealing herself as the source behind tens of thousands of pages of leaked documents, Haugen has advocated for laws in the U.S. and abroad that aim to make social media safer for kids.
Former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen on Thursday announced a new nonprofit with the goal of making social media healthier.
The new group appears to build on the solutions she’s proposed to lawmakers and social media companies themselves about how to make platforms safer, based in part on her experience as a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team.
Haugen has become a well-known figure since leaking tens of thousands of pages of internal documents and later revealing her identity on “60 Minutes” last year. She also testified before Congress.
“Beyond the Screen” will start by creating an open-source database of ways “Big Tech is failing in its legal and ethical obligations to society,” according to a press release, and detail potential solutions. The group calls this a “Duty of Care” project that aims to identify gaps in research about online harms and come up with ways to fill them.
The contents of the leaked documents, which Haugen also turned over to lawmakers and the Securities and Exchange Commission, were first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Those reports detailed the company’s knowledge of its product’s sometimes harmful effects on children and teens, varied content moderation standards for high-profile accounts and struggle dealing with potential harmful content in different languages and cultural contexts.
Facebook has previously said the documents were cherry-picked and their framing skewed away from potentially positive interpretations of the data. Facebook parent company Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Haugen’s new venture.
Haugen has more recently advocated for specific laws in the U.S. and abroad that aim to make social media safer for kids. Haugen voiced her support for the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act, which was recently signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The law will require many platforms to design their services with children’s privacy and safety in mind and prevent them from nudging minors to provide personal or location information, among other things. Tech industry groups argued the language was too broad and burdensome on many platforms.
Frances Haugen Launches Group To Create Healthier Version Of Facebook
Frances Haugen, former Facebook product manager and US whistleblower, has launched a group to create healthier version of social media. According to her research, it’s not safe for children and teens to use social media platforms of this age and time.