Another former member of Facebook says company puts profits before efforts to fight hate speech

A second Facebook whistleblower has come forward with a new set of allegations, first reported by the Washington Post, the person is a former member of Facebook’s integrity team, says the company puts profits before efforts to fight hate speech and misinformation on its platform.

In the affidavit, copies of which were provided to The Verge, the whistleblower alleges, among other things, that a former Facebook communications official dismissed concerns about interference by Russia in the 2016 presidential election, assisted unwittingly by Facebook. Tucker Bounds said, according to the affidavit, that the situation would be “a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks they will move on to something else. Meanwhile we are printing money in the basement and we are fine.”

The whistleblower alleged differences between Facebook’s public statements and internal decision-making in other areas. They say that the project to connect people in the “developing world” had internal messaging that the goal was to give Facebook an impenetrable foothold and become the “sole source of news” so they could harvest data from untapped markets.

The company told the Post “It sets a dangerous precedent to hang an entire story on a single source making a wide range of claims without any apparent corroboration.” A Facebook spokesperson submitted a statement from the company without a person’s name attached to it, which called this reporting “beneath” the Post, and claims “At the heart of this story is a premise that is false. Yes, we’re a business and we make profit, but the idea that we do so at the expense of people’s safety or wellbeing misunderstands where our own commercial interests lie.”

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