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Facebook Whistleblower Reacts to Rebranding, Urges Mark Zuckerberg to Step Down

Frances Haugen, an ex-employee of Facebook who revealed herself as the whistle-blower who leaked information to the media that showed that the social media giant prioritized profits over user safety, urged the social networking giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to step down and allow change rather than devoting resources to a rebrand, as per a Reuters report.


“I think it is unlikely the company will change if [Mark Zuckerberg] remains the CEO,” said Haugen on Monday, in her first public appearance since the leak, at the opening night of the tech fest Web Summit at Lisbon.

The former product manager of Facebook added, “Maybe it’s a chance for someone else to take the reins… Facebook would be stronger with someone who was willing to focus on safety.”

Last week on October 28, Facebook announced the change of its corporate name to ‘Meta’ while leaving the name of its apps, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, unchanged. As Zuckerberg puts it, Meta (formerly Facebook) plans to build a ‘metaverse’ to give people an experience of Virtual and Augmented Reality where they can be present with another person who is not physically present.

The announcement of rebranding came amidst the negative attention that the social networking giant has been getting over the last few months regarding unwarranted data collection and lax policies to control hate speeches.

With the leaked documents, Haugen accused the social media giant of putting monetary gains over user safety and pointed out that the social media giant was “optimizing content that generated engagement,” turning a blind eye to the hate speech caused by its platforms, including Instagram.

At the time, Zuckerberg had rubbished Haugen’s allegations and said, “At the most basic level, I think most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.”

The company also announced a two-year $50 million investment in global research programs partnering with organisations across the world such as Harvard University.


During the announcement, Zuckerberg mentioned that the new technologies being developed by the company will be done with the involvement of human rights and civil rights communities to ensure that they are built in a way that is inclusive. He further mentioned that the company will be more transparent regarding what data is collected and how and when it is utilised, as well as provide easy-to-use safety controls and parental guidance mechanisms.

While commenting on the rebranding, Haugen said that it does not make any sense given security issues that are yet to be tackled.

“Over and over Facebook chooses expansion and new areas instead of sticking the landing on what they’ve already done,” said Haugen.

Further, Haugen commented, “A key problem is that the foundation of the platform’s security is based on monitoring content language by language, which does not scale to all the countries where Facebook operates.”