New whistleblower accuses Facebook of wrongdoing: report
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 23, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - A former Facebook worker reportedly
told US authorities Friday the platform has put profits before stopping
problematic content, weeks after another whistleblower helped stoke the
firm's latest crisis with similar claims.
The unnamed new whistleblower filed a complaint with US financial regulator
Securities and Exchange Commission that could add to the company's woes, said
a Washington Post report.
Facebook has faced a storm of criticism over the past month after former
employee Frances Haugen leaked internal studies showing the company knew of
potential harm stoked by its sites, prompting US lawmakers' to renew a push
In the SEC complaint, the new whistleblower recounts alleged statements
from 2017, when the company was deciding how to handle the controversy
related to Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
"It will be a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then
in a few weeks they will move onto something else. Meanwhile we are printing
money in the basement, and we are fine," Tucker Bounds, a member of
Facebook's communications team, was quoted in the complaint as saying, The
Washington Post reported.
The second whistleblower signed the complaint on October 13, a week after
Haugen's scathing testimony before a Senate panel, according to the report.
Haugen told lawmakers that Facebook put profits over safety, which led her
to leak reams of internal company studies that underpinned a damning Wall
Street Journal series.
The Washington Post reported the new whistleblowers SEC filing claims the
social media giant's managers routinely undermined efforts to combat
misinformation and other problematic content for fear of angering then US
president Donald Trump or for turning off the users who are key to profits.
Erin McPike, a Facebook spokeswoman, said the article was "beneath the
Washington Post, which during the last five years would only report stories
after deep reporting with corroborating sources."
Facebook has faced previous firestorms of controversy, but that has not
translated into substantial new US legislation to regulate social media.