Whistleblower Frances Haugen, Facebook Oversight Board to meet in 'coming weeks'

Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, says company executives prioritized profit over safety

Former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower Frances Haugen said Monday that she plans to brief the embattled social media giant’s Oversight Board in the coming days regarding her findings on harm caused by the company’s platforms.

"I have accepted the invitation to brief the Facebook Oversight Board about what I learned while working there," Haugen wrote on Twitter. "Facebook has lied to the board repeatedly, and I am looking forward to sharing the truth with them."

Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, says company executives prioritized profit despite internal research that showed products were causing public harm. She gathered thousands of documents detailing the research and later delivered damning testimony before a Senate panel. 

The Facebook Oversight Board confirmed that Haugen would meet with its members "over the coming weeks."

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Former Facebook data scientist Frances Haugen speaks during a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in Washington. ( ( (AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

"Board members appreciate the chance to discuss Ms. Haugen’s experiences and gather information that can help push for greater transparency and accountability from Facebook through our case decisions and recommendations," the Oversight Board said.

Established in 2020, the Oversight Board is a separate entity that can purportedly impose binding rulings governing Facebook’s business practices. In May, the board upheld Facebook’s decision to suspend former President Donald Trump’s account but noted the suspension's indefinite terms were "not appropriate."

The Oversight Board’s release also noted its ongoing review of Facebook’s "cross-check" system. The system, which was first reported in the Wall Street Journal’s "Facebook Files" series, purportedly shields high-profile users and accounts from the social media platform’s normal enforcement policies.

The Board said it is "currently looking into whether Facebook has been fully forthcoming in its responses on its ‘cross-check’ system and will share our analysis in our first release of quarterly transparency reports later this month." 

It wasn’t immediately clear if Haugen will provide information regarding that system.

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Haugen told Senate lawmakers that Facebook’s "products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy." She has argued that Congress should regulate the social media platform to limit harmful practices.

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Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, have accused Haugen of mischaracterizing their efforts to protect public safety.