Facebook whistleblower launches nonprofit to take on big tech

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The first project of a new nonprofit launched by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will be to create an open-source database of the ways big tech is failing its ‘legal and ethical obligations’ to society.

Whistleblower Frances Haugen—a former Facebook engineer who leaked documents suggesting the firm put profits before safety—on Thursday launched an organization devoted to fighting harm caused by social media.

The Beyond the Screen nonprofit’s first project will be to document ways big tech is failing in its “legal and ethical obligations to society” and help come up with ways to solve those problems, a statement on the launch said.

“We can have social media that brings out the best in us, and that’s what Beyond the Screen is working toward,” Haugen said in the statement.

“Beyond the Screen will focus on tangible solutions to help users gain control of our social media experience.”

Haugen last year leaked reams of internal studies showing executives knew of their site’s potential for harm, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.

Haugen contended the tech titan, which has since rebranded itself as Meta, put profits over safety. Meta has fought back against the accusation.

Haugen’s nonprofit will collaborate with groups including Common Sense Media and Project Liberty that share a “commitment to supporting healthier social media,” according to the statement.

Beyond the Screen’s first project “represents a bold, inclusive, and much-needed effort to drive a seismic shift in how social media operates,” Project Liberty founder Frank McCourt said in the statement.

“We look forward to working with Frances and her team to launch this new initiative and advance our shared goal of enabling healthier digital communities and stopping harmful business models.”


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© 2022 AFP

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Facebook whistleblower launches nonprofit to take on big tech (2022, September 22)
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