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.
“The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” she said in an interview with CBS 60 Minutes. “And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimise for its own interests, like making more money.”
Facebook has consistently said it disagrees with Haugen’s characterization.
Beyond the Screen is a continuation of Haugen’s work to tackle online harms.
It will start with an open-source initiative involving a range of people who want reform in the way social media companies work, such as nonprofit leaders, academics, litigators and technologists.
They will work together to study the harms “created and exacerbated by social media” and identify best practices to nip them in the bud.
The nonprofit will work on this initiative with Project Liberty, a group that aims to improve the internet by creating “a more equitable digital economy and develop a new civic architecture for the digital world”.
“We are pleased to welcome Frances and her colleagues into Project Liberty’s efforts to transform how the internet works and, specifically, to fix social media and repair what it has broken,” said Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, executive director of the McCourt Institute.
This is an excerpt from New York Post.