How one Facebook worker unfriended the giant social network

Tech

Former Facebook employee 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)

(AP) — When a 37-year-old data scientist went before Congress to accuse Facebook of pursuing profit over safety, it was likely the most consequential choice of her life.

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The idealism Frances Haugen and countless others had invested in promises by the world’s biggest social network to fix itself had been woefully misplaced. The harm Facebook and Instagram were doing to users was rivaled only by the company’s resistance to change, she concluded, and the world needed to know.

Haugen’s testimony spotlights a rising threat to an industry that has mushroomed into one of society’s most powerful forces: The era of the Big Tech whistleblower has most definitely arrived.

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