Facebook Papers unravel worrying facts
Facebook is no stranger to the limelight. While the company has repeatedly come under fire over the past few years for its role in disseminating misinformation, especially related to the 2016 election, the last two months have been especially turbulent as a whistleblower and top officials have been called to testify in front of Congress following the release of leaked internal research and documents.
These disclosures made to the Securities and Exchange Commission and provided to Congress in redacted form by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s legal counsel have shed new light on the inner workings of the tech giant. A consortium of 17 US news organizations, including CNN, has reviewed the redacted versions of the documents received by Congress. She also shared some of the documents with the Wall Street Journal, which published a multi-part investigation showing that Facebook was aware of problems with its platforms.
Facebook has pushed back on Haugen’s assertions, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg even issuing a 1,300-word statement suggesting that the documents are cherry picked to present a misleading narrative about the company.
Here are some key takeaways from the tens of thousands of pages of internal documents.
In one SEC disclosure, Haugen alleges “Facebook misled investors and the public about its role perpetuating misinformation and violent extremism relating to the 2020 election and January 6th insurrection.”
One of the documents details a June 2019 study called “Carol’s Journey to QAnon,” designed to see what pages and groups Facebook’s algorithms would promote to an account designed to look like it was run by a 41-year-old conservative mom named Carol Smith. (CNN)