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Facebook Whistleblower Says EU Tech Rules Should Be Standard

 |  November 8, 2021

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told EU lawmakers that draft rules requiring tech firms to do more to tackle illegal online content could become a global gold standard for a safer online world if they are beefed up.

Haugen, a former Facebook employee who worked as a product manager on the company’s civic misinformation team, has accused the social media giant of repeatedly prioritising profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation, reported Reuters. 

Her testimony to a European Parliament committee comes after stops in London, Lisbon and Berlin, and at a time when EU lawmakers are debating whether to firm up the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposed by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager.

“The Digital Services Act that is now before this Parliament has the potential to be a global gold standard,” Haugen said.

Related: How The EU’s New Digital Services Act Can Help Build Trust And Tackle Illegal Content

“It can inspire other countries, including my own, to pursue new rules that would safeguard our democracies but the law has to be strong and its enforcement firm. Otherwise, we will lose this once in a generation opportunity to align the future of technology and democracy,” she told EU lawmakers.

Haugen said the DSA should be expanded to include online content that violates a platform’s terms and conditions, and should force platforms to take responsibility for risks beyond the spread of illegal content such as election manipulation and disinformation about the harms of mental health.

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