Expert: Whistleblower Frances Haugen says Facebook making online hate worse

Published: 27 October 2021

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told British lawmakers that the social media giant stokes online hate and extremism, fails to protect children from harmful content and lacks any incentive to fix the problems, providing strong momentum for efforts by European governments working on stricter regulation of tech giants. While her testimony echoed much of what she told the U.S. Senate earlier this month, her appearance drew intense interest from a British parliamentary committee that is much further along in drawing up legislation to crack down on social platforms. (CTV News)

Here is an expert from McGill University that can provide comment on this issue:

Taylor Owen, Associate Professor, Max Bell School of Public Policy and Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications

Frances Haugen has finally focused our conversation on the right problem: corporate decisions, product design, and incentive structures, that too often prioritize profit and growth over public safety and democratic responsibility. Instead of starting with the outcome of this structural problem – harmful speech – she rightly calls for governments to focus on ensuring greater accountability and transparency over the companies that shape it. Fortunately, we already have many of the regulatory tools we need to solve this problem.”

Taylor Owen is an Associate Professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy and holder of the Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications. His research focuses on exploring the ethics, civic impact, and governance of emerging technologies.

taylor.owen [at] (English)

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