(Headline USA) The former Facebook manager who leaked tens of thousands of internal documents and accusing her former employer of caring more about money than about public safety has a book deal.
Little, Brown and Company announced Thursday that it had acquired a planned memoir, “offering a critical examination of Facebook,” by Frances Haugen. The book does not yet have a title or release date. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“During my time at Facebook I realized a devastating truth: almost nobody outside of Facebook knows what happens inside of Facebook. They operate in the dark,” Haugen said in a statement.
Facebook is known for its shrewd legal and political tactics, often calling for legislative reforms that would hurt smaller competitors even as the social-media megalith conducts its anti-competitive practices as usual.
Haugen’s testimony seem directed at steering the debate away from anti-trust action and more in the direction of a Democrat-led push to revise and update Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Although a pet cause of former President Donald Trump during his first term, revisions under the current administration undoubtedly would lead to even more censorship of right-wing groups and public figures.
Whether Haugen might be a plant from within the vast network of left-wing activist groups or from the company itself remained unclear.
Despite her rhetoric calling on greater transparency and stricter oversight of the company, though, strong indications were that her true motive was to further cloud and obfuscate the debate.
“They win by keeping their systems closed without oversight or transparency, by shrouding their operations in secrecy and PR spin,” Haugen candidly acknowledged.
“I came forward because I believe that every human being deserves the dignity of the truth—and the truth is that Facebook buys its astronomical profits by sacrificing our safety,” she claimed. “But it does not have to be this way—these problems are solvable. We can have social media we love that also brings out the best in humanity. My hope is that this book will show us the way.”
In Senate testimony in October, Haugen alleged that the company had failed to make changes to Instagram even after internal research showed apparent harm to some teens.
But this valid criticism proved to be little more than a Trojan horse for her true purpose: pushing for more government-imposed regulation to combat so-called hate speech and misinformation, both highly subjective areas that would be defined and adjudicated by left-wing authorities.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has publicly disputed her accounts, calling them a “false picture” of the company, but shared her view that the government needed to update its internet regulations.
A native of Iowa City, Iowa, Haugen is a data expert with a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Olin College and a master’s degree in business from Harvard. She already had 15 years of experience with tech companies, including Google and Yelp, before being recruited by Facebook in 2019 and joining in its civic integrity unit as lead product manager.
After the November 2020 election, Facebook eliminated the civic integrity unit, a decision that Haugen said helped convince her that the company could not be trusted to “actually invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.” She left Facebook in May, but not before spending weeks reviewing and copying documents.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press