Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was questioned about Frances Haugen, a former product manager turned whistle-blower who testified before Congress about the social media company’s abuses. During a question-and-answer session with workers last week, Zuckerberg responded in the affirmative.
In a recorded meeting acquired by The New York Times, Mr. Zuckerberg spent about 20 minutes discussing the whistle-blower, her testimony and recent media attention — all without mentioning Ms. Haugen by name — according to a copy of the tape obtained by the newspaper. He informed workers that some of her claims about how the platform polarizes people were “very simple to disprove.”
This was part of an internal effort that Facebook has launched to deal with the repercussions from Ms. Haugen’s disclosures, which included remarks from the chief executive. Ms. Haugen’s integrity has been called into doubt by Facebook officials, who have also defended the company’s internal positions as it tries to maintain the trust of its more than 63,000 employees and allay their worries over the whistle-allegations. blower’s
According to internal documents obtained by The New York Times and interviews with about a dozen current and former Facebook employees, executives have held live internal events with employees, held emergency briefing sessions, and sent numerous memos to counter Ms. Haugen’s claims — which were backed up by internal documents that showed Facebook’s services hurt some children’s self-esteem and abetted human trafficking. Employees should be prepared to answer inquiries about recent events if they are “asked questions about recent occurrences by friends and family,” according to one letter from management.
According to the sources, Facebook has moved quickly since its workers have grown split over Ms. Haugen. One employee said in internal communications from the previous week that Ms. Haugen was “saying things that many people here have been expressing for years” and that the business should pay attention to what she was saying. The messages were shared with The Times. Another person praised her for her “wonderful” story and referred to her as a “hero.”
Others, on the other hand, believe Ms. Haugen should be issued with a cease-and-desist order or sued for violating her nondisclosure agreement with the social networking site Facebook. According to the texts obtained by The New York Times, many people criticized her for seeming to be ignorant of the subjects she spoke during her congressional testimony.
Sheugen, 37, worked on the civic misinformation team for almost two years before departing in May. The employee dispute is the latest problem for Facebook, which sheugen, 37, has brought on by her actions. When she worked at Facebook, Ms. Haugen collected an extensive collection of internal research, which she has subsequently shared with news organizations, legislators, and regulators in an effort to demonstrate that the social network was aware of many of the negative consequences it was creating.
A barrage of criticism erupted in response to her revelations, prompting Facebook to halt development of an Instagram service tailored just for children. Furthermore, the company’s worldwide head of safety, Antigone Davis, was called before Congress and questioned harshly. After revealing her identity, Ms. Haugen testified before Congress, claiming that Facebook was attempting to keep people — including children — addicted to its services on purpose. Many members of Congress expressed gratitude to her for coming out.