Another former Facebook employee has filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The latest complaint, which was by The Washington Post, alleges Facebook misled its investors about “dangerous and criminal behavior on its platforms, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.”
In the complaint, the former employee described a conversation with one of Facebook’s top communication executives who, following disclosures about Russia’s use of the platform to meddle in the 2016 election, said the scandal would be a “flash in the pan” and that “we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine.”
Like Frances Haugen, the latest whistleblower is also a former member of Facebook’s integrity team, which was tasked with fighting misinformation, voting interference and other major problems facing the company. And, like Haugen, the former Facebook staffer said that the company has “routinely undermined efforts to fight misinformation, hate speech and other problematic content out of fear of angering then-President Trump and his political allies, or out of concern about potentially dampening the user growth.”
The SEC filing also describes illegal activity in secret Facebook Groups, and Facebook’s policy of allowing politicians and other high-profile users to skirt its rules. It names Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg as being aware of the problems and not reporting them to investors, according to The Post.
While many of the details sound similar to other complaints from former company insiders, news of another complaint adds to the pressure on Facebook, which has spent much of the last month trying to discredit Haugen and downplay the significance of its own research. Meanwhile, lawmakers have called on Zuckerberg to answer questions from Congress, and Haugen is expected to brief European officials as well.
A Facebook spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Zuckerberg is expected to announce plans to rebrand the company with a new name next week.
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