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Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen reveals what she would tell Mark Zuckerberg if she ever met him

Dec 22, 2021, 01:34 IST
Business Insider
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (left) and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen.Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images/Andrew Harnik/AP
  • Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has never met Mark Zuckerberg, she said on NYT's "Sway."
  • She said she'd like to meet the Meta CEO one day and laid out what she'd tell him if that happens.
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Frances Haugen has never met Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but she hopes to one day.

That's what the Facebook whistleblower told journalist Kara Swisher on the New York Times podcast "Sway" on Monday. Haugen also laid out what she'd say to Zuckerberg if they ever do meet.

"I would say, Mark, you are a very smart person," Haugen said on the podcast. "You have so much capacity. You have the ability to build any version of Facebook you want to build. You're the only person in the world who can govern Facebook."

Haugen also pointed to Zuckerberg's dwindling popularity over the years but expressed her optimism that this could change.

"You don't have to live the life you've been living," she said. "You don't have to be afraid of people knocking on your door. You don't have to be afraid of people glaring at you at a restaurant. You don't have to be afraid of your kids having horrible things said to them at school."

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Haugen continued: "You can change. Facebook can change. You can live in a new world. And you are the single most powerful, most impactful person who can drive that change. You can have a different life. And I want you to have a happy, fulfilled life because that's the person you can be, and I believe in you."

Earlier this year, Haugen, a former product manager at Facebook, leaked tens of thousands of internal documents illuminating decisions that she told Congress have led to "more division, more harm, more lies, more threats, and more combat."

According to The Wall Street Journal's subsequent multi-part investigation, called The Facebook Files, the leaks reveal that the company knew Instagram worsened body image issues for many teen girls, that Facebook saw pre-teens as an untapped audience, and that it has a secret system letting 5.8 million users, like politicians and celebrities, skirt its content rules. Facebook has responded by saying the reporting is "riddled with flaws" and contains "deliberate mischaracterizations."

You can listen to Haugen's full interview on "Sway" here.

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