The whistleblowers are running out of breath.
Frances Haugen, Facebook’s newest big tech robot gone rogue, gained national recognition last week for saying what we already know. After the Wall Street Journal published a project titled “The Facebook Files,” Haugen revealed that she was the source of secret documents used in the investigative project.
Although her actions are bold, as a Generation Z kid, it is difficult to listen to her claims and not roll my eyes.
Instagram is damaging to young girls? Social elites get away with evading rules? Tell me something I don’t know.
If you grew up on the internet, you’re no stranger to its dark side.
Although I feel thankful that I escaped the claws of the TikTok vacuum, I can easily say that social media has a damaging effect on me and nearly everyone I know.
We’ve all seen meme accounts go sour and jeopardize students’ safety, anonymous posting apps that ruthlessly bully kids, and even police intervention due to child pornography cases with Snapchat.
Young people live in a different world than the one their parents grew up in, which is why the hullabaloo around Haugen’s courageous whistleblowing is exhausting.
Corporate media is praising Haugen for her efforts to reform Facebook, an endeavor that at this point seems impossible.
Time and time again, the company has proven that it values its growth over personal privacy, political integrity, or the sanctity of democracy. But what else can we expect from a company whose platform began as a way for college guys to rate girls? Are we surprised that a company whose lifeblood is impulsive reactions does not have our best interest at heart?
Although I’d like to present the option of eliminating social media as a whole, it’s impossible. I enjoy social media and, when it is used properly, it can be every bit as good as it is bad. We are past the point of being able to exist without some participation in technology. Facebook needs to be held accountable for the ways in which they’ve allowed their platform to be weaponized.
Haugen’s stolen documents revealed that the company has been well aware of its negative effects and has done little to alter its algorithm for good. We’ve seen what this free-for-all version of the internet looks like and, if there is no moderate and unbiased intervention soon, we’ll continue to see all of society harmed by it.
Many have criticized Haugen’s belief that she can save the company from misinformation. This is the tip of a massive iceberg of many other more serious issues.
Facebook knows that thousands of pages on its site are used for everything from sex trafficking and running drug cartels to organ selling and pornography, and yet the focus is on idolizing or ridiculing Haugen. It seems as though Big Tech is once again in hot seat. Whether or not anything will happen is another story.