Parler CEO questions Facebook whistleblower’s motives as long-time Democratic donor
George Farmer expresses worry that Facebook whistleblower, Democrats influencing Big Tech regulation as 'they see fit'
Parler CEO George Farmer said he’s worried about Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s motives on "Mornings with Maria" Wednesday, noting her Democratic Party donor history.
Haugen has donated 37 times and given nearly $2,000 to Democrats and related PACs since 2016 while being employed at Facebook, Pinterest and Gigster, according to Federal Election Commission records.
"This is a whistleblower who has a track record of allegiance to the Democratic Party, and that makes me very much question her motives," Farmer told FOX Business’ Cheryl Casone.
Haugen, a former Facebook product manager on the civic misinformation team, appeared before a Senate subcommittee this week after claiming the company knew its products had harmful effects on users, specifically teen girls.
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Farmer stressed a bipartisan approach to lawmakers’ probe into Facebook’s policies, noting that current implications could influence future regulation.
"Now I think the Democrats are taking this upon themselves to fashion the regulation in a way that they see fit, which worries me," Farmer expressed.
The CEO admitted that Big Tech regulation could impact Parler’s free-speech platform, but the company wouldn’t "suffer" like Facebook would.
"We're not a monopoly. We don't have the same corporate overreach," Farmer explained.
"You saw this on Monday with the outage, where Facebook went down for six hours and half the world seemed to lose its communications. Parler goes down, which we have been down in the past, the world does not suffer the same lack of communications," he continued.
Following Facebook’s global platform crash, the longest outage in the company's history, Farmer said Parler saw a "huge jump" in active users and gained hundreds of thousands of new followers on Twitter.
"Traffic was up substantially and we saw a lot of accounts which hadn't been activated for a long time, reactivated," Farmer said.
Farmer further criticized Facebook’s "weak" moderation tools and computerized "terms and services" reply when users flag inappropriate content on the platform.
"You need to have a large moderation filter in place, and you need to have artificially intelligent moderation systems which can scale to your platform size," he suggested.
Responding to widespread backlash from the whistleblower investigation and Monday’s hours-long outage, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a company memo defending the social media giant Tuesday.
"At the heart of these accusations is the idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being. That’s just not true," Zuckerberg wrote. "The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical. We make money from ads, and advertisers consistently tell us they don’t want their ads next to harmful or angry content."
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Farmer said Zuckerberg’s response is "very interesting."
"I think there's a degree to which the enemy of my enemy is my friend in this situation," he posed.