Facebook falls 4% after whistleblower says social media company gives hateful content more reach
- Facebook stock fell as much as 4% on Monday after a whistleblower alleged the social media platform gives hateful content more reach.
- Documents provided by a former Facebook product manager showed the company only addressed about 5% of hateful content.
- "To suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true," Facebook said in response.
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Former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen leaked internal documents to several news outlets this year and told "60 Minutes" on Sunday that choices made by the company's management team consistently give polarizing, hateful content more reach and distribution than it should.
"There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests, like making more money," Haugen told "60 Minutes."
Documents provided by Haugen included an internal Facebook study which showed only 5% of hateful content on its platform was addressed. And safeguards that were in place amid the 2020 election were quickly dropped following President Biden's win, helping contribute to the January 6 Capitol riots, according to Haugen.
But Facebook disputed the allegations, saying in response to the whistleblower, "to suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true."
"Every day our teams have to balance protecting the ability of billions of people to express themselves openly with the need to keep our platform a safe and positive place. We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content," Facebook added.
Losses in Facebook stock on Monday outpaced declines in its mega-cap tech peers, with shares of Apple, Amazon, and Alphabet down between 1% and 2%.
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