What are the Facebook Papers?
Once again Facebook is threatened by leaked information about the company's internal processes.
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The "Facebook Papers" are a series of documents turned over by Frances Haugen' legal counsel, the ex-Facebook employee, that provided an in-depth look at Facebook's internal culture, its approach to misinformation and hate speech moderation, internal research on its news feed algorithm, internal communication related to the events of January 6 and more.
Haugen reported the company's practices to the U.S. Congress and submitted more than 10,000 pages of internal Facebook documents as disclosures to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The series of documents were reviewed by a consortium of 17 U.S. news organizations, which, starting Friday, Oct. 22, began publishing a series of articles collectively called 'The Facebook Papers' based on the declassified files.
The documents delve into Facebook's internal company culture, its approach to misinformation and hate speech moderation, internal research on its news feed algorithm, internal communication related to Jan. 6 and more.
Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs, rejected the allegations against the company.
"At the heart of these stories is a premise that is patently false: that we don't put the people who use our service first, and that we conduct research that we then systematically ignore. Yes, we are a company and we make a profit, but the idea that we do so at the expense of people's safety or well-being misunderstands what we do and where our own commercial interests lie," he said.
The documents revealed that Facebook employees were repeatedly alarmed at the company's inability to curb the spread of messages inciting violence in "at-risk" countries such as Ethiopia, where a civil war has raged over the past year, internal documents seen by CNN show.
In addition, according to the disclosed documents, Facebook has also known, at least since 2018, of human traffickers who were using its platforms.
In her testimony before Congress, Haugen said that "Facebook's products harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy."
"Company leaders know how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but they are not making the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congress needs to act. They won't solve this crisis without your help," the former employee added.