According to ex Facebook employee Frances Haugen Facebook’s puts its profits over protecting users from harm – over the last several years it has consciously chosen to recommend posts which spread online hate and encourage addictive behaviour rather than protect users.
Haugen has gone on record stating that Facebook’s own research shows that many children show addictive patterns of behaviour when using Instagram – it doesn’t make them happy, but they can’t stop using the app.
She also says that Facebook recommends extremist and radical material to people, creating divisions, because such material holds people’s attention for longer and this increases their advertising revenue. This may well include content that is hateful towards to women and is very much in line with findings from this documentary.
Finally she says that Facebook’s safety department is relatively understaffed compared to other departments – more people are employed in tweaking its algorithm for profit compared to keeping people safe.
And funnily enough Facebook recently announced it would be rebranding to ‘Meta’ – this is typically what companies do when the criticisms mount up – so as deflect negative attention away.
Relevance to A-level Sociology
This is of relevance to the Media Option, and is also supporting evidence of how TNCs spread harms, supporting the Marxist Theory of crime (possibly!)
BBC News article on Facebook’s putting profit over user safety.
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