Facebook pushes QAnon’s racism to Trump fans, says whistleblower

  • A Facebook whistleblower said the site was passing far-right misinformation on to Trump supporters.
  • Frances Haugen told “60 Minutes” that Facebook has data confirming the extent of the problem.
  • Facebook has rejected claims it has done too little to limit the spread of disinformation.

A Facebook whistleblower said the social media giant’s algorithms were pushing QAnon and white nationalist content to Trump supporters.

In an interview for “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, former Facebook executive Frances Hogan said the company’s claims to combat the spread of disinformation on its platform were false.

She said the site promotes controversial and extremist content to users who have taken no action to research it.

Haugen said Facebook’s claims that it only shows this content to people who search for it are false.

She called Facebook’s response to critics on the issue, “‘It takes two to tango.’

“’You chose your friends, you chose the topics you engage with, don’t just blame us, it’s up to you,” she said, paraphrasing the company’s position.

The interview section was not in the final cut of the show, but in additional portions of the interviews contained in the “60 Minutes Overtime” clips.

Haugen said that an experiment conducted by the company internally proved how far right-wing content was passed on to users, even those who had not expressed any prior interest in extremism.

“So they took on brand new accounts, so no friends, and all they did was follow Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Fox News, and as a local news source.

“And then all they did was click on the top ten things Facebook showed them – where Facebook suggested a group, they joined that group,” she said.

“So they’re not doing any conscious action here, just come in once – and in a week you see QAnon, and in two weeks you see things about the white genocide,” Haugen said.

QAnon is a sprawling conspiracy theory movement, whose supporters baselessly believe Trump is on a mission to purge a cabal of satanic child abusers from the government.

The white genocide conspiracy theory has long been embraced by white supremacist groups, who baselessly believe that elites are deliberately seeking to destroy whites.

Haugen said such content is spreading because it “gets the most engagement.”

She said Facebook consistently chooses to keep extremist content because it makes money, rather than restricting it and risking losing some of its users.

In response to a request for comment, Facebook referred Insider to the statement they made to CBS in which they denied they were not doing enough.

Lena Pietsch, director of political communications at Facebook, said: “If research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments and society would have solved them a long time ago.

“We have a solid track record of using our research, as well as external research and working closely with experts and organizations, to inform changes in our applications. “

Facebook has long been criticized for failing to limit the flow of disinformation and conspiracy theories on its platform.

Insider in a July investigation found so-called militia groups in the United States were promoting anti-vaccination narratives in an attempt to attract new recruits.


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