There is a new whistleblower at Facebook. The person, who worked for the Integrity team, claims that Facebook barely monitors the Groups on its platform, even if there is clearly illegal trading going on there.
Groups have become a way to illegally trade drugs and antiques unseen, the whistleblower claims, according to The Washington Post. The whistleblower has filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Among other things, the SEC statement alleges that Facebook misled shareholders by misrepresenting the status of its fight against misinformation and hate speech. Misinforming shareholders is an economic offense that the SEC takes seriously.
The allegations are in line with those of the previous whistleblower, Frances Haugen. This new whistleblower, who is as yet unknown, works within the Integrity team. Haugen is a data analyst and was therefore able to tell a lot about research that Facebook has done.
The statement also contains anecdotes that point to a culture that puts profit over user safety. Internally, top executives have dismissed concerns about fake news and misinformation surrounding the 2016 US presidential election as a storm in a teacup, while the company has also done little against hate speech against Myanmar’s Rohingya ethnic group. The disinformation on Facebook was part of a campaign leading up to mass killings of that population.
Facebook has responded to the statement. About the Groups, the company says it is “in the company’s commercial and moral interest” to “give as many users as possible a positive experience on Facebook.” About other information, the company says it sets a “dangerous precedent” to hang a story on the statement of just one person.