When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year…
Facebook has been knee-deep in controversies for a while now but recently, after the whistleblower, Frances Haugen testified against the company before Congress, things escalated pretty quickly. And now it seems like a second whistleblower is willing to risk it all to testify against Facebook, yet again…
Sophie Zhang, a former Facebook data scientist originally went public with her criticisms of the company back in April 2020 and is now ready to testify before Congress and tell all, in an interview to CNN. Zhang also said on Twitter on Sunday that she had provided a US law-enforcement agency with “detailed documentation regarding potential criminal violations.” But did not disclose the identity of the agency.
On Monday after her interview with CNN, Zhang posted another tweet and said, “If Congress wishes for me to testify, I will fulfill my civic duty, as I’ve publicly stated for the past half year.” In her interview with CNN, Zhang said that she was encouraged by the positive support received by Frances Haugen after she testified about children’s safety on Facebook and Instagram.
In September 2020, Zhang was fired from Facebook over alleged “poor performance” but in reality, things were much worse. “I have blood on my hands”, the former employee wrote in a 7,800 -word memo which detailed about how she believed that the company allowed authoritarian regimes around the world to manipulate its platform. Soon after, Facebook issued a complaint to her hosting server and her website was subsequently taken offline where she posted this memo online.
But Facebook has kept an entirely different approach to all these accusations. According to a Facebook spokesperson, “As a platform used by so many around the world, we know people feel passionately about our products and with this impact comes scrutiny and responsibility. So while we think it’s critical that we’re held to account, we also think it’s important to add context about the work that different teams do and respond when the work of thousands of people at Facebook is being mischaracterized.”
On a side note, if you haven’t watched “The Social Dilemma”, you definitely should, it will give you a lot to think about.