Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says tightened EU tech rules could become the global standard


Europe’s draft law requiring tech firms to do more against illegal online content could become a global gold standard for a safer online world if reinforced, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told EU lawmakers on Monday.

Haugen, a former Facebook employee who worked as a product manager on the company’s civic disinformation team, has accused the social media giant of repeatedly prioritizing profit over combating hate speech and misinformation.

Your testimony before a committee of the European Parliament comes after stops in London, Lisbon and Berlin and at a time when the EU legislature is debating a tightening of the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.

“The law on digital services, which is now before this Parliament, has the potential to become a global gold standard,” said Haugen.

“It can inspire other countries, including my own, to pursue new rules that would protect our democracies, but the law needs to be strong and enforced. Otherwise, we will miss this golden opportunity to shape the future of technology and “democracy,” she told EU lawmakers.

Haugen said the DSA should be expanded to include online content that violates a platform’s terms of use and should force platforms to take responsibility for risks beyond the spread of illegal content, such as election manipulation and disinformation about the harm to mental health Bless you.

Haugen said news media content should not be exempted from the rules as disinformation campaigns could still take advantage of the system by taking advantage of digital platforms used by publishers.

In a blog post ahead of the EU hearing, Facebook denied Haugen’s claims that profits take precedence over user safety.

“Contrary to recent claims about our company, we have always had the commercial incentive to remove harmful content from our platform,” wrote Monika Bickert, vice president of content policy, on the blog.

She said Facebook would spend more than $ 5 billion (about Rs 37.020 billion) on security and protection this year.

EU industry boss Thierry Breton, who had met with Haugen on Monday, criticized the increased lobbying work by technology companies on the draft rules and called on the legislature, which is fighting over the scope of the DSA, to intensify its deliberations.

“Speed ​​is everything. We need the DSA / DMA package that was approved in the first half of 2022, ”he said after the meeting.

The DMA, or Digital Markets Act, is the other planned landmark piece of legislation in the EU that will set the do’s and don’ts for global tech companies.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here