Facebook’s Fall

The latest of what has happened with the social media giant

Facebook’s Fall

Gabriel Donaghy, Staff Writer

Recently, Facebook and its subsidiaries have been having some trouble. Facebook itself has been facing problems with whistleblower Frances Haugen, who exposed Facebook’s lack of transparency and honesty with the public. Now, the app is in even hotter water with a second whistleblower, Sophie Zang- not to mention the outage that took down Facebook and everything it owns for over 6 hours. So yeah, you could say Facebook is dealing with some trouble recently. 

Many of you may have heard of or experienced the Facebook-owned Social Media Outage that lasted over 6 hours. Aside from forcing people to use different social media apps for a few hours, it hit Facebook’s stock really hard with a loss of 50 billion dollars from its market cap, with founder and current Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg losing 6 billion dollars himself. The shortage itself was not just server-based, though, nor was it an attack on the Social Media conglomerate; it was just a power outage that affected the entire building, even the doors, locking people out of the building for the 6 hours.  

PC: Dado Ruvic

Next, let’s look into the two whistleblowers, who they are, what they want, and what they know. 

Frances Haugen, a data engineer from Iowa, joined Facebook in 2019 for the purpose of upholding civic integrity regarding democracy and misinformation. However, this was “shortly dissolved after the [2020] election”, according to Haugen. From there on out, she filed complaints to the Securities and Exchange Department, then shared documents with the Wall Street Journal, which published the documents soon after. She resigned in April 2021  after taking more documents that she would use later on, which brings us to today where she took her case to Congress on October 8th, 2021 to testify against Facebook and their wrongdoings (or lack of doing), her claims to Congress provoked a response from Mark Zuckerberg who in simple terms called the claims lies by saying  “Many of the claims don’t make any sense. I think most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.” She also plans to testify again, this time to the British Parliament on October 25th.   

Frances Haugen testifying to the United States Congress

Sophie Zhang, a data scientist, who joined Facebook in 2018, joined on to investigate botted likes, comments, and shares but uncovered political manipulation in over 20 countries worldwide. Zhang now plans to testify on the 18th of October like Haugen to the British Parliament. Not much information is known about Zhang as of yet due to her announcing of these crimes and their upcoming testimony because their announcement was only just on October 14th.

Sophie Zhang in an interview with NBC News (PC: Ahmad Hathout)