Facebook, Roger Mcnamee, Francis Haugen discussed on Balance of Power


Haugen a former product manager in the civic integrity unit testified this week before Congress about some of the dangers that Facebook poses Facebook knows that it's amplification algorithms things like engagement based ranking on Instagram can lead children from very innocuous topics like healthy recipes I think all of us could eat a little more healthy All the way from just something innocent like healthy recipes to anorexia promoting content over a very short period of time For his takeaways from the testimony I talked to early Facebook investor roger mcnamee cofounder of elevation partners and author of zucked waking up to the Facebook catastrophe Roger told me that Francis haugen had an extraordinary amount of access in her role at Facebook She was absolutely at the center civic integrity was responsible for addressing harms to users So she was in exactly the right place She's just utterly convincing in everything she does I thought her testimony was exceptional I can not tell you how much for relief it is to me that she has come forward because we have known about these issues but what her work has done in bringing out tens of thousands of pages of documents is to eliminate Facebook's argument that they didn't know It is incredibly clear from these documents that Facebook crafted a business model based on attention It was designed to maximize profits at any cost which is an understandable thing in capitalism So it's completely understandable that it would work that way But at the same time in this case the harm that was done to public health to democracy to teenage girls has been incalculable and the core point is they knew it was there In various forms at Google at Amazon at Microsoft and it's now being adopted throughout the economy How much of this is because of the algorithms and the way they're designed A 100% of it is The way to think about this is that this is we're dealing with a business model based on attention and the best way to get people's attention is either the scare the more outrage So roger it really raises in my mind the question is is this a bug or a fix I mean could they fix this without really substantially undermining their business model No No no You can't You can still have Facebook and Instagram But you can't have them at their current profit levels because profit maximization is what essentially leads to all the harms What can be done by Congress or by creation of an agency you mentioned before perhaps an agency I think we already have enough information to design We need three classes of things We need to think about safety and there I think something that looks like the FDA that simply looks at every technology product On a regular basis not just once but continuously to make sure that they are safe And it effectively creates a way for consumers to go to the government and say I'm sorry this is not working out for me here are.

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