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Facebook Failed to Combat Misinformation in the US Out of Fear of Angering Donald Trump, Says a Second Whistleblower

A second Facebook whistleblower came out against social media giant Facebook on Friday and stated that the company turned a blind eye towards misinformation and hate speech as it did not want to upset former United States of America President Donald Trump, according to an affidavit acquired by The Washington Post.


The anonymous person who filed a complaint with the American finance regulator Securities and Exchange Commission said that Facebook prioritized monetary profits over user safety.

The allegations mentioned in the document, echo similar complaints made by Frances Haugen who shared leaked information which said that Facebook made profit off content that made people angry, and in turn increased user engagement through its family of apps including Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram.

The fresh allegations permitted terrorist content, drug sales, hate speech and misinformation to flourish while also failing to adequately warn investors about the potential risks when such problems surface. The document argued that top Facebook officials including Co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were aware of the intensity of the issues, but refrained from reporting them in the company’s SEC filings.

The five-page affidavit was signed on October 13, the report stated. This was week after Haugen testified on Capitol Hill.

Haugen first appeared on a television segment, revealing her identity, and then appeared before the US Congress and put forward the need to regulate Facebook.

The second whistleblower was a part of Facebook’s Integrity team. Their name has been redacted from the affidavit.

In the SEC complaint, they referred to statements made by Facebook communications official Tucker Bounds in 2017 in relation to the controversy around alleged Russian intervention in the 2016 US elections. Bounds allegedly said, “It will be a flash in the pan. Some legislators will get pissy. And then in a few weeks they will move onto something else. Meanwhile we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine.”

The whistleblower shared another instance with the publication, of Facebook’s Public Policy team, led by former Bush administration official Joel Kaplan, defending a “white list” that exempted Trump-aligned Breitbart News, run then by former White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon, and other select publishers from Facebook’s ordinary rules against spreading false news reports.


Bannon was recently found in criminal contempt of the US Congress after he failed to appear before the House in relation to the inquiry on the January 6 Capitol riot. The failure to contain online hate speech around the insurrection made for Haugen’s complaint, that she filed in September.

In response to The Washington Post report, Facebook spokesperson Erin McPike said that it sets a “dangerous precedent to hang an entire story on a single source making a wide range of claims without any apparent corroboration.”

“This is beneath the Washington Post, which during the last five years competed ferociously with the New York Times over the number of corroborating sources its reporters could find for single anecdotes in deeply reported, intricate stories,” she added.