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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Facebook whistleblower warns the UK and EU to take more measures to control cyber harm

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen warned that if the EU and the UK do not expand the scope of the new digital law and force technology companies to exclude harmful content from their websites, they “will miss a huge opportunity.”

The European Union and the United Kingdom are passing landmark legislation that will hold technology companies responsible for any illegal content on their websites, such as hate speech or posts that incite violence or terrorism.

But after Hoogen was interviewed by the Financial Times Her testimony Speaking to the European Parliament on Monday, it would be a mistake to limit the scope to illegal content.

She claims that Facebook’s algorithm can quickly pull people into the psychological rabbit hole. “As far as children are concerned, they can follow very neutral interests, such as healthy eating, and be attracted to the content of anorexia,” Hogan said. “It’s not illegal, but it’s really harmful, and children will die because of it.”

Facebook declined to comment.

During the discussions between Brussels member states and legislators on the upcoming digital services bill, Hoogen’s comments were particularly tense. As part of the new legal obligations, France has been actively promoting the regulation of harmful content and false information by large technology companies.

In the UK, lawmakers who drafted the online security bill have been working hard to determine which legal hazards, such as bullying or misinformation, will fall within the scope of the new law. They face opposition from technology companies and freedom of speech advocates, which they believe will lead to excessive censorship.

Hoogen also said that legislators need to discuss the risks of advertising.

“We have many problems with advertising, and I think it is very important to have a specific bill to solve these problems,” she said. “People are becoming the target of extreme diet ads, which is why Facebook bans these ads for children because they know they are dangerous.”

Facebook stated that it restricts food ads for all users.

Hoogen spoke to members of the European Parliament at the European Parliament in Brussels,
In a conversation with members of the European Parliament at the European Parliament in Brussels, Haugen stated that the laws being drafted in Europe will be imitated by other regions © Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

Haugen said that the laws being drafted in Europe and the United Kingdom will be replicated in other countries and may push companies such as Facebook to change their systems, similar to their response to the British children’s law that took effect in September.

“Let us imagine a world where Facebook must disclose what security systems exist, what languages ​​they use, and the effectiveness of these systems. Even if they only do this for European content, researchers around the world can understand how Facebook works… and They will face pressure to improve,” she said.

Haugen has given hours of testimony to lawmakers and regulators in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brussels, and will provide evidence to French regulators before returning to Puerto Rico. She said that she does not regret disclosing her identity or internal Facebook files.

“The importance of whistleblower to society will only grow-technology is evolving faster and faster, and the only people who understand these technologies are people inside the company,” Hogan said.

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