Fb has chosen to reply to whistleblower Frances Haugen in essentially the most cowardly method doable: by hiding Mark Zuckerberg, the person finally accountable for Fb’s choices, and starting the method of making an attempt to smear and discredit Haugen.

That is some Large Tobacco bullshit — exactly what sleazeball PR guru John Scanlon was hired to do when Jeffrey Wigand blew the whistle on tobacco firm Brown and Williamson. Scanlon’s job was to alter “the story of B&W to a narrative about Wigand’s personality.”

After all, that technique “backfired completely,” Vainness Truthful reported in 2004. It most likely received’t work right here, both. One senator, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, has already referred to as Haugen “a 21st-century American hero,” including that “our nation owes you a huge debt of gratitude.”

Like Wigand, Haugen has receipts: inside paperwork and knowledge from Fb’s personal researchers, all of which make for critical and supported claims concerning the platform’s harms and selections the corporate made to maximise revenue and engagement in ways in which would enhance these harms. It’s doable to contend together with her allegations on the deserves, however Fb is simply too immoral for that — and Zuckerberg has determined he’s above it, as a substitute occurring trip.

Let’s learn by at the moment’s Fb assertion on the Haugen listening to collectively, lets?

Fb PR: “Today a Senate Commerce subcommittee held a hearing with a former product manager at Facebook who worked for the company for less than two years, had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives — and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question.”

Translation: Right this moment, a peon testified in Congress; she is simply too unimportant to call. Nothing she says is worth it as a result of she will not be fancy sufficient. And though she had entry to a number of inside analysis paperwork supporting her claims, you possibly can’t belief her testimony on them — regardless of her subject material experience and years of expertise within the area — as a result of she didn’t write them herself.

Fb PR: “We don’t agree with her characterization of the many issues she testified about.”

Translation: We predict she’s mendacity however received’t say how, or about what, particularly.

Fb PR: “Despite all this, we agree on one thing; it’s time to begin to create standard rules for the internet. It’s been 25 years since the rules for the internet have been updated, and instead of expecting the industry to make societal decisions that belong to legislators, it is time for Congress to act.”

Translation: It’s time to change the topic to one thing we like higher, though Haugen herself mentioned Fb is presenting false selections with regards to privateness and free speech.

Now, let’s all discover what’s lacking. Although Fb disputes Haugen’s characterizations of the analysis in query, it doesn’t present its personal interpretation. Nor does it interact any of the claims Haugen makes — that are, by the way, supported by inside Fb analysis Haugen supplied. If Fb had proof, it could present it.

After seeing this assertion, the man who was as soon as Haugen’s boss’s boss, Samidh Chakrabarti, backed Haugen. Her considerations are actual, he mentioned. And as Fb’s Civic Integrity Lead, he did have direct experiences and sat in on C-suite conversations.

However the funniest half is the absence of Mark Zuckerberg, Fb’s CEO and the one shareholder with the ability to exchange himself. Zuckerberg began Fb as a Scorching-or-Not clone — which just about actually would negatively have an effect on teen ladies’ shallowness. (Not less than he’s constant, I suppose.) The selections Haugen alleges, which put income forward of morals, have additionally enriched him greater than anybody else. The buck stops, fairly actually, with him. So the place is he?

If the perfect Fb can provide you with is that this disgusting try at character assassination, Haugen is telling God’s personal reality. We should always take heed to her.

Replace 5:21PM ET: Provides Samidh Chakrabarti’s tweet in assist of Frances Haugen.

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