Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, who recently appeared on 60 Minutes and testified before Congress, has an agenda, and it is not about exposing the dark truths about her former employer.
In actuality, Haugen wants Congress to crack down on what she calls “misinformation” perpetuated on Facebook and other social media platforms.
According to Haugen, “When we live in an information environment that is full of angry, hateful, polarizing content, it erodes our civic trust, it erodes our faith in each other, it erodes our ability to want to care for each other, the version of Facebook that exists today is tearing our societies apart and causing ethnic violence around the world.”
Consequently, Haugen wants the federal government to impose anti-free speech regulations on Facebook and other social media giants.
Specifically, Haugen wants the federal government to create an oversight board that would be responsible for removing “misinformation” from Facebook and other social media platforms.
Indeed, this is personal for Haugen, who claims she took the job as head of Facebook’s Civil Integrity unit after she lost a friend to “misinformation” and “online conspiracy theories.”
As Haugen described to 60 Minutes, her tenure as Facebook’s head of the Civil Integrity department was short-lived. “They told us, ‘We’re dissolving Civic Integrity.’ Like, they basically said, ‘Oh good, we made it through the election. There wasn’t riots. We can get rid of Civic Integrity now.’ Fast forward a couple months, we got the insurrection. And when they got rid of Civic Integrity, it was the moment where I was like, ‘I don’t trust that they’re willing to actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.’”
And there you have it. Haugen’s beef with Facebook is not about protecting users, it is about silencing people she disagrees with.
This became crystal clear in her opening remarks before a Senate Commerce subcommittee.
According to Haugen, Facebook peddles misinformation and products that “stoke division” and “weaken our democracy.” She also claims that Facebook allowing users to post what she deems as “misinformation” is bad for the “common good.”
Haugen even believes that Facebook’s reluctance to remove all “misinformation” is akin to Big Tobacco hiding the fact that cigarette smoking caused cancer.
“When we realized big tobacco was hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seat belts, the government took action. And when our government learned that opioids were taking lives, the government took action. I implore you to do the same here,” she testified.
Haugen’s reliance on this straw man argument confirms her censorship agenda and blatant bias against free speech.
It is ridiculous to compare the actions of Big Tobacco in the 1950s with a semi-open forum such as Facebook.
In fact, Facebook has gone out of its way in recent years to stifle free speech under the guise of so-called misinformation. Examples of Facebook (and other social media giants) suppressing free speech are endless.
Interestingly, the vast majority of those being silenced tend to be on the right side of the political spectrum. Indeed, it is difficult, if not impossible, to find many examples of Facebook silencing any prominent people or organizations on the left.
Yet, that is not enough for Haugen and her ilk. In their world, Facebook and other social media platforms should not be treated as modern town squares, wherein everyone has a right to voice their opinions.
In Haugen’s Orwellian vision, Facebook would become the Ministry of Truth. And the federal government, like Big Brother, would have complete control over what is and is not considered misinformation.
In other words, Haugen wants the federal government to use Facebook as a conduit to do its dirty, unconstitutional work of censoring Americans’ free speech rights. Haugen is not a whistleblower in the traditional sense of the term. Actually, she is better described as a double-agent for the federal government.
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.