Facebook recently sent an email to its employees asking them to preserve internal documents and communications, dating back to 2016, for legal reasons. This comes as multiple governments are launching inquiries into the social media giant, following a series of revelations by the whistleblower’s documents.
A Facebook spokesperson said, “On Tuesday, Facebook sent a legal hold notice to all personnel. Document preservation requests are part of the process of responding to legal inquiries.”
Frances Haugen, who is a Facebook data scientist turned whistleblower, appeared before a UK Parliamentary committee and said that Facebook will fuel more violent unrest around the world. This is because of the way its algorithms are designed to promote divisive content.
“The events we’re seeing around the world, things like Myanmar and Ethiopia, those are the opening chapters because engagement-based ranking does two things: one, it prioritises and amplifies divisive and polarising extreme content and two it concentrates it,” she said.
Also read | Frances Haugen to testify about Facebook and online harm
Haugen said she had come forward “because now is the most critical time to act”. She further explained Facebook groups increases online hate as she said that the algorithms that prioritise engagement take people with mainstream interests and push them to the extremes.
As per Haugen, the company could add moderators to prevent groups from being used to spread extremist views.
These reports have raised a range of questions about the company’s workings, including the impact it can cause on a person’s mental health.
Facebook has called the reports a “coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to create a false picture about our company”.