A former Facebook employee reportedly told US authorities Friday that the platform prioritises profitability over removing objectionable information, weeks after another whistleblower Frances Haugen made similar claims, stoking the firm’s newest crisis.
According to a Washington Post report, the unnamed new whistleblower filed a complaint with the US financial regulator Securities and Exchange Commission, which could exacerbate the company’s troubles.
The SEC complaint alleges that the new whistleblower recounted purported statements made in 2017, as the business considered how to manage the scandal surrounding Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
“It will be a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks, they will move on to something else. Meanwhile, we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine,” Tucker Bounds, a member of Facebook’s communications team, was quoted in the complaint as saying, The Washington Post reported.
According to the newspaper, the second whistleblower signed the lawsuit on October 13, a week after Haugen’s blistering testimony before a Senate panel.
According to The Washington Post, a recent SEC filing by whistleblowers alleges that the social media giant’s executives consistently undercut efforts to prevent misinformation and other harmful content out of fear of angering then-US President Donald Trump or alienating key users.
Facebook has come under fire in the last month when former employee Frances Haugen published internal papers indicating the firm was aware of possible harm caused by its services, forcing US politicians to renew their call for regulation.
Haugen testified before Congress that Facebook prioritised profits before safety, prompting her to release reams of internal corporate analyses that served as the foundation for a damaging Wall Street Journal investigation.
Facebook has been the subject of earlier controversies, although this has not resulted in any new US legislation regulating social media.