Frances Haugen holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Olin College and an MBA from Harvard University. She is a specialist in algorithmic product management, having worked on ranking algorithms at Google, Pinterest, Yelp, and Facebook. In 2019, she was recruited by Facebook to be the lead product manager on the civic misinformation team, which dealt with issues related to democracy and misinformation, and later also worked on counter-espionage. During her time at Facebook, Haugen became increasingly alarmed by the choices the company made, prioritizing their own profits over public safety and putting people's lives at risk. As a last resort and at great personal risk, Haugen made the courageous decision to blow the whistle on Facebook. The initial reporting was done by The Wall Street Journal, in what became known as “The Facebook Files.” Since going public, Haugen has testified in front of the U.S. Congress, U.K. and EU Parliaments, the French Senate and National Assembly, and has engaged with lawmakers internationally on how to best address the negative externalities of social media platforms. Haugen has filed a series of complaints with the U.S. Federal Government relating to Facebook (now named Meta), claiming that the company has been misleading the public and investors on how it handles issues such as climate change, misinformation, and hate speech, and the impact of its services on the mental health of children and young adults. Haugen fundamentally believes that the problems we are facing today with social media are solvable, and is dedicated to uniting people around the world to bring about change.
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