Whistleblower Frances Haugen – a former Facebook engineer who leaked documents suggesting the company put profits ahead of security – on Thursday launched an organization dedicated to fighting the harm caused by social media.
The new nonprofit, Beyond the Screen, said its first project will be to document how big tech is failing to meet its “legal and ethical obligations to society” and help find ways to resolve those issues .
“We can have social media that brings out the best in us, and that’s what Beyond the Screen is working towards,” Haugen said in a statement.
“Beyond the Screen will focus on tangible solutions that help users take control of our social media experience.”
Haugen leaked reams of internal studies last year showing executives were aware of their site’s potential for harm, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.
Haugen claimed the tech titan, which has since rebranded itself Meta, has prioritized profits over safety. Meta has denied the accusation.
Haugen’s nonprofit said it will work with groups like Common Sense Media and Project Liberty, which are “committed to supporting healthier social media.”
Beyond the Screen’s first project “represents a bold, inclusive and much-needed effort to drive a seismic shift in the way social media works,” said Frank McCourt, founder of Project Liberty, according to the Beyond the Screen statement.
“We look forward to working with Frances and her team to launch this new initiative and advance our common goal of enabling healthier digital communities and stopping harmful business models.”
Since leaving Facebook in 2021, Haugen has campaigned for legislation in the US and abroad designed to make social media platforms safer, especially for young people.
Facebook whistleblower warns US lawmakers of regulatory deadlock
© 2022 AFP
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