Sorry, I’m a little late today, sometimes life gets in the way. Anyway…
The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.
I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.
My Who Won the Week winner this week is Frances Haugen.
Frances, a former Facebook product manager who was hired to help protect against election interference on Facebook, turned whistleblower and has testified before Congress as well sitting for a 60 Minutes interview.
In her testimony, Haugen told that the tech behemoth knows that outrage, anger, and conspiracy theories — what it internally calls “bad for the world” content — generate more emotion, engagement, and dopamine hits. “If they change the algorithm to be safer,” Haugen said, “people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, and Facebook will make less money.”
Haugen said that Facebook consistently chose to maximize its growth rather than implement safeguards on its platforms, just as it hid from the public and government officials internal research that illuminated the harms of Facebook products.
“During my time at Facebook, I came to realize a devastating truth: Almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook,” Haugen told Congress. “The company intentionally hides vital information from the public, from the U.S. government, and from governments around the world. The result has been more division, more harm, more lies, more threats and more combat. In some cases, this dangerous online talk has led to actual violence that harms and even kills people,” she testified.
So thank you, Frances Haugen, for your courage to speak truth to power. Will it do any good? As Rachel Maddow says, “Watch this space.”
What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?