Francis Haugen, a powerful Facebook whistleblower

Last year, Haugen first sounded the alarm on Facebook. Led by a personal emotional story of a person close to her who became radicalized due to Facebook violations

Goran Lefkov

Francis Haugen is the latest big whistleblower. She “whistled” last year. The hardship and weight she lived with had been unbearable. Her close friend, who took care of her recovery from 2011 to 2014, has radicalized himself, “thanks” to Facebook algorithms. It is a drop on the glass that spilled over her head. She could no longer stand it and joined a small NGO Whistleblower Aid. In September 2021, her story was already in 9 sequels in the Wall Street Journal entitled The Facebook Files.

Francis was born in 1983 in the US state of Iowa. She completed her high school education in her native Iowa City in 2002 and went on to become a programmer at Harvard. Francis’s father is a doctor, while her mother becomes a Protestant priest after graduating.

She grew up in an honest family where human values came first. That character trait has haunted her in her career and not being able to stand the manipulations of Facebook algorithms, she decided to go public.

After graduating from college, Francis got a job at Facebook and ran several programs. She became very successful in the management structures of the organization, and the company paid her postgraduate studies.

For some time in 2015 she started working in the social network Pinterest where she created algorithms for easier identification of persons. After learning that her friend had radicalized in 2018, she returned to Facebook to help reduce the influence of the so-called echo chambers created by social networks, especially Facebook. It was incomprehensible to her that social networks did not warn people at all about the danger of echo chambers or fake news. The system of Google and Facebook that pushes fake news and gives up to 90% discount on fake news sites was also incomprehensible to her. By doing so, it stimulates the announcements on its own networks, without taking responsibility for the consequences of those dangers.

She collected documents, announces the scandal, and then on October 5 last year she was called to testify before the US Congress, accusing Facebook of knowing how to warn users about the toxicity of the social networks Facebook and Instagram, but does not do so, as it would lose astronomical profits, thus putting profits before the citizens’ health. Proceedings against Facebook are ongoing in US institutions.

Francis is currently moved to Puerto Rico where she is investing in a cryptocurrency company.