scorecardFacebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says if Elon Musk wants Twitter to be a public square, he should make its algorithms open source
  1. Home
  2. tech
  3. news
  4. Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says if Elon Musk wants Twitter to be a public square, he should make its algorithms open source

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says if Elon Musk wants Twitter to be a public square, he should make its algorithms open source

Sam Tabahriti   

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says if Elon Musk wants Twitter to be a public square, he should make its algorithms open source
Tech2 min read
  • Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has discussed Elon Musk's plans for Twitter.
  • Musk has previously discussed making Twitter a "town square" where vital matters could be debated.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen said if Elon Musk wants Twitter to be a public square, he should make its algorithm open source.

Musk had previously discussed making Twitter a digital town square "where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated."

Haugen discussed Musk's views in a special edition of NBC News' Meet the Press on how social media is shaping politics on Sunday morning. She said to journalist Chuck Todd: "One of the most important things Elon Musk could do to prove that he wants to have the public square is he could publish the algorithms."

"Open source it," she added. "He'd have more help – it'd be cheaper for him. It'd be more profitable."

Musk has been outspoken about one of the reasons he bought Twitter: giving "power to the people." He also explained in a memo shortly after sealing the $44 billion deal that he acquired it to promote dialogue, which he believed had been lost.

Musk wants Twitter to also be the "most accurate source of information about the world." In the weeks following the acquisition, however, he reduced the number of people who were primarily in charge of dealing with content moderation.

Haugen is a former product manager on Facebook's civic integrity team. She went public in 2021 and leaked masses of internal documents illuminating decisions, which she told Congress had led to "more division, more harm, more lies, more threats, and more combat."

In the interview with NBC News, Haugen also said social-media companies were generally opposed to government intervention since it could decrease profits by at least 20%.

"Facebook is scared," Haugen said. "If we actually had transparency, if we actually had accountability, they would not be a company with 35% profit margins. They'd be a company with 15% profit margins."

In a subsequent multi-part investigation, known as The Facebook Files, The Wall Street Journal reported that Instagram worsens body image issues for teens; Facebook saw pre-teens as an untapped market; and it has a secret system to allow 5.8 million users, including politicians and celebrities, to skirt some of its content rules.

The whistleblower previously said the company wouldn't be able to recover until CEO Mark Zuckerberg stepped down.

Meta and Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider, made outside normal working hours.




Advertisement