The Wrong Man Is Guiding Mark Zuckerberg, Says Whistleblower: Frances Haugen Slams Nick Clegg For “Paycheck Belief”

The wrong man has the ear of Mark Zuckerberg, according to tireless Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen.

The former company executive who previously leaked thousands of internal Facebook papers and testified before the US Senate and British parliament last year, told The Times that Zuckerberg and his senior team continued to “pursue growth at all costs” and found any detractors’ claims that Facebook could breed hatred and enmity hard to swallow.

Haugen called Zuckerberg “a boy prince” whose entire identity was bound up with his era-defining creation. Haugen said, “Can you imagine finding out your entire life’s work — it causes genocides? It’s an impossible thought.”

And she was particularly contemptuous of Zuckerberg’s newly promoted acolyte Sir Nick Clegg, formerly the UK’s deputy Prime Minister and now president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company Meta. Haugen claimed that Clegg was used to being unpopular in his previous political role and had persuaded Zuckerberg to ignore criticism as they were following the right path. She said of Clegg, “It can be very hard for people to believe a truth that conflicts with their paycheck.”

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Clegg previously responded to Haugen’s damning testimony about the harm Facebook was causing young people. He told CNN’s State of the Union in October 2021, ““We understand the concerns of some that we need to press pause, listen to experts, explain our intentions and so on.”

Of Facebook’s significant sway on politics, Clegg also told Meet the Press at the time, “One of the things we have heard from users both from the US and around the world since the election is people want to see more friends, less politics. So we have been testing ways in which we can reduce the presence of politics for people’s Facebook experiences.”

The British government last week published its Online Safety Bill, which includes latest efforts to regulate social media and clamp down on spreading hate and misinformation. Haugen stated her frustration with the Bill’s contents, urging further action was needed to force social media companies to redesign their algorithms to prevent sharing extreme material with users. She said, “Facebook’s documents are very clear that the shortest path to a click is anger.”

In response to Haugen’s comments, Facebook told The Times it had spent $5billion on safety in the past year and continued to take “significant steps to fight the spread of misinformation.” It cited its recent steps to restrict the use of its platforms in Russia by state media.


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