A hot potato: While Facebook (or Meta, as it’s now known) might have thought 2018, the year of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, would forever remain its worst-ever 12 months, 2021 has taken that unwanted title–and it’s not over yet. The company is now facing accusations that it tried to smear the name of its former employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen among Washington politicians.
Haugen released internal documents earlier this year, which showed Facebook just how detrimental its social media platforms can be to society. This includes the devastating effects Instagram can have upon teenage girls’ mental health.
Haugen revealed that Facebook algorithms were altered to disable some safeguards against misinformation spreading and could have led to the Capitol riots. She said that different countries are ranked by the company in terms of content moderation. This led to Facebook suspending plans for Instagram for Kids and Congress summoning executives for multiple hearings.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s Washington-based lobbyists and public relations staff went on the offensive against Haugen following her appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes show. According to reports, the team warned Democrats that Republicans could use Haugen’s leaks to attack the company’s decision not to ban support for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. This has since been reversed.
Republicans were informed that Haugen was a Democratic activist and wanted to help President Biden’s administration. Her PR firm be