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Here's How the Facebook Whistleblower Says the Algorithm Is Harming Gen-Z

If you're wondering what the Facebook Whistleblower is saying, you're not alone. Frances Haugen came forward as a former employee who saw Mark Zuckerberg's evil front center. Here's why you should care what she has to say.

Simple Illustration of a person looking at their phone.
Photo: UnSplash

In the last few days, you may have seen the phrase "Facebook whistleblower" appear a lot on your social media feed or timeline. To give you a breakdown of what's happening, a whistleblower is a worker protected by law who's reporting certain types of wrongdoing. For some time, Frances Haugen remained anonymous. It wasn't until a recent 60 Minutes interview that she decided to drop the curtain and reveal her identity. Since then, she's been speaking out against the social network-giant regarding the harm it's causing to its users, especially to younger generations.

“The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congressional action is needed,” Haugen said.

Off the bat, you may think that a boring government hearing might not concern you. The truth is this: our generation is one of the largest consumers of social media. We connect, share, shop, and even live vicariously through these social platforms. A huge part of our lives exists on the internet, so the safety surrounding it will always impact us.

In a recent video by The New York Times, Haugen explains Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg's well-known ploy. While their biggest concern is making a profit regardless of the implications on safety and health, they are still trying to convince us that elements of Instagram and Facebook are in place to improve user experience.

One of these elements is the infamous algorithm. Brands, creators, and regular users stress over the changing and erratic algorithm, which has become synonymous of a success elixir. What's dangerous about it? As Haugen explained, Facebook makes you think that the algorithm is set in place for your experience; it's them making sure you only see what you "should" see.

If social networks dictating what we see isn't scary to you, allow me to put this in perspective. According to the Netflix documentary "The Social Dilemma," social media algorithms are designed like Las Vegas casino slot machines. We swipe down on our screens to refresh, hoping the content that appears on our timeline, explore, or even For You Page satisfy what we need.

In other words, we're being fed what Facebook and other social media networks want us to see under the illusion that they know what's best for us.

"There are ways we can make those experiences so computers don't regulate what we see; we, together, socially regulate what we see," said Haugen.

As more testimonies are given regarding this case, Facebook has begun trying to dismantle the reputation of the whistleblower. As the hearing continues, it's crucial you keep yourself informed about the stuff coming to light. Social media can give life to a lot of important things such as connection, vulnerability, and a historical record. However, as Frances Haugen continues to prove, there are a lot of dangerous and evil doings that give structure to this dominating industry.


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