Another former Facebook employee has come forward denouncing the social media behemoth for not combating “hate and misinformation” and vowing she would testify before Congress to back her claims of “potential criminal violations.”
Former employee Sophie Zhang has joined in the pro-censorship effort against Facebook, tweeting on Tuesday that she would testify before Congress to perform her “civic duty.”
Zhang had originally written a 7,800-word denunciation of her employer last fall, posting it the day she was fired. However, she credits the recent outpouring of “bipartisan support” to protect children from the harmful effects of social media, which followed the testimony of fellow ‘whistleblower’ Frances Haugen, with encouraging her to return to the public eye.
“I have blood on my hands,” Zhang laments in the lengthy memo.
The former Facebook data scientist has also provided “detailed documentation regarding potential criminal violations to a US law enforcement agency,” though she did not specify which agency or supply any further details about what kind of crimes had supposedly been committed using the social media giant.
Last year’s memo singled out the governments of Azerbaijan and Honduras as the most egregious abusers using Facebook to manipulate their citizens, with Ukraine, Brazil, Bolivia, Spain, India, and Ecuador also on the naughty list.
Zhang, like the suddenly-ubiquitous Haugen, accused Facebook of not doing everything in its power to control the spread of disinformation. She has even claimed to have evidence showing how foreign governments were using phony Facebook accounts to manipulate public opinion – hardly surprising in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica, JTRIG and other various scandals, but damning nonetheless.
Additionally, Facebook is “too slow to act against abuse of its platform, particularly in smaller or developing countries,” Zhang complained.
Similar to Haugen, Zhang’s lack of long-term experience at Facebook is being used against her by the company. She worked there for almost three years and was let go late last year – a relatively brief tenure that, she suggests, led Facebook to not take her findings seriously.
Zhang told CNN in a Tuesday interview that she was “not charismatic, not good at attracting or receiving attention” and therefore the “wrong person for the job” of whistleblower, but spoke out regardless. Facebook supposedly fired her for “performance issues.”
Offered $64,000 to sign a non-disparagement agreement upon departure, she declined the money and posted the mammoth exposé instead. Facebook retaliated not only by taking down the post on Facebook, but by supposedly contacting her web host and getting her own entire website taken down.
“No one wants to make an enemy of Facebook,” she pointed out.
To Zhang, however, the company’s duplicity and coverups suggest the trillion-dollar mega corporation and its partners in politics are running scared – that Facebook is integral to the perception of a functioning democracy even when the government manipulating it is anything but democratic.
The fact that multiple national governments and presidents felt the need to exploit Facebook on massive scales to manipulate their own citizenry without even trying to hide, that speaks volumes about how important they believe it to be.
Facebook lost billions in value last week following the one-two punch of Haugen’s testimony against the company and a six-hour outage that left users unable to access it or its subsidiaries Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
Haugen’s call for tighter regulation of social media platforms is already being heeded, with the company itself jumping at the possibility of tighter content regulations while arguing for a reform of Section 230 – which protects platforms from liability for what their users post – making it “contingent on [platforms] applying the systems and their policies as they are supposed to.”
Announcing such regulations now would conveniently prevent new social media platforms from gaining a foothold in the market by stripping them of such liability, while well-heeled competitors like Facebook and Google would be protected.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!