Facebook Whistleblower Says 'No One' Holds Zuckerberg 'Accountable' Except 'Himself'


Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says the company’s chairman and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has no one who holds him accountable for decisions — except himself.

During testimony before the Senate, Haugen was asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) how decisions are made at Facebook and whether Zuckerberg is the decision-maker.

“Mark holds a very unique role in the tech industry in that he holds over 55% of all the voting shares of Facebook. There are no similarly powerful companies that are as unilaterally controlled. And in the end, the buck stops with Mark. There is no one currently holding Mark accountable but himself,” she added.

She continued, “Mark has built an organization that is very metrics driven. It is intended to be flat. There is no unilateral responsibility. The metrics make the decision. Unfortunately, that itself is a decision. And in the end, if he is the CEO and the chairman of Facebook, he is responsible for those decisions.”

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During an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, Haugen said Facebook “over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety.”

She added that the company is “optimizing for content that gets engagement, or reaction, but its own research is showing that content that is hateful, that is divisive, that is polarizing — it’s easier to inspire people to anger than it is to other emotions.”

“Facebook has realized that if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, they’ll make less money,” she added.

In a statement reacting to the interview, Lena Pietsch, Facebook’s director of policy communications, told CBS, “Every day our teams have to balance protecting the right of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe and positive place. We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content.”

“To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true,” she added.

Last week, Blumenthal grilled Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Facebook, which owns Instagram, about the effects the app has on the mental health of teenagers.

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