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Facebook Controversy Continues: Another Former Employee Would Testify Against Her Before The United States Congress
Former Facebook data engineer, Sophie Zhang has spoken about the most recent events involving the social network and has ensured that said company shows little interest in political problems and violent conflicts that are generated by the same social network in the countries outside the west.
Sophie Zhang was part of the team tasked with finding operations that were trying to influence important events such as elections and the politics of other countries.
Likewise, it has prepared a very detailed report that is not authorized to go public, which makes it possibly one of the most important complaints against the company, where the lack of interest in the problems that are created by the network is demonstrated social all over the world.
The report of the former employee contains around 6,600 words, in them, you can see all the power that an intermediate employee has and the disinterest and contempt on the part of the company in problems that do not occur in Western Europe or the United States.
"During the three years that I have been part of the Facebook team, I have encountered a lot of scandals from foreign governments who want to abuse our platform on a large scale in order to deceive their own people and sometimes try to make headlines worldwide" Zhang commented.
Likewise, the former employee of the company hoped that her report could serve to reform Facebook and not to only attract the public. It was not she who leaked said document to Buzzfeed and asked him not to remove it, but the social network considered that there was a lot of information of public interest to do so.
On the other hand, Sophie Zhang decided to give up more than 54,000 euros in order to criticize the company in that report, which was sent to all her colleagues.
The most affected
According to the revelations of the engineer, one of the most affected countries has been Spain.
On this, the commitment to analyze the likes of young women that the Facebook page of the Ministry of Health received in April fell. These actions would be intended to praise the government's management, which ended up becoming a mini local scandal.
This allowed Zhang to delete around 672,000 fake accounts from the social network, which not only operated in Spain, but also in the United States and other countries.
The company assured after the investigation that the discovered network did not target Spain, but they did not want to reveal the exact number of accounts eliminated.
While Buzzfeed has preferred not to publish the full report to avoid revealing any personal information, but what is not yet known is whether the former Facebook engineer will provide more details about the network discovered in Spain.
In an attempt to reply, Spain has contacted one of the journalists who published the information, but they have not received any kind of response.
Response from Spain
Spain, as a country in Western Europe, is one of the places where the social network reacts quickly when there are complaints.
This never happens with Latin America, where the crisis of Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador or Honduras can be covered, who have survived for many years without receiving support from Facebook.
One of the biggest concerns of the former employee was that the company could allow some foreign governments to manipulate their public opinion with the creation of millions of accounts of supposed media or citizens, so the manipulation of information through this platform is the most worrying.
Something very clear about this was what happened in Bolivia, where Zhang decided not to pay attention to the opposition networks of then-President Evo Morales for lack of time, and later it was found that he had already been deposed. "There were so many behaviors that did not respect the rules of everyone and that for me on a personal level they had to investigate, order and prioritize" added the former engineer of the social network.
Another important piece of information was in Honduras, where it took months to cancel a network owned by the administrators of the president's page, Juan Orlando Hernández. "They operated very quietly hundreds of pages without any obfuscation in a show of great impudence," Zhang confirmed. This time the policy review teams and intelligence teams took a long time to respond to the engineer complaint.
Facebook and its lack of attention and concern about what is happening in the world
During a statement, Facebook downplays Sophie Zhang's accusations "Working against fake account creations is our priority, but we also tackle all the problems of fake interactions and spam. We investigate each case with great dedication, and you win, including those described by engineer Zhang before making a decision or making a statement publicly. "
One of the main criticisms of the engineer is the greater attention that false interactions such as creating likes and spam receive than the political problems that few countries important for the company.
As you can see, Facebook has great power and influence throughout the world.
As well as all the contempt for the part of the world that makes up the majority of network users. "A person in charge of the Strategic Responses has told me that most of the world outside the West was like the Wild West with someone like me as a dictator," explained the former employee.
Sophie Zhang tells some similar stories that have happened in countries like Brazil, Ukraine, India or Azerbaijan. Where to detect a case and follow up on it was at his discretion.
Facebook is a company that only cares about the inconveniences that could affect them with public opinion, the engineer assured.
Likewise, he assured that if the problem appeared in the most important newspapers in the United States, that if it became an emergency for them, while it will only affect citizens of Third World countries, in the rest the abuses could continue to occur.
There are very few reports that reflect with this level of certainty and clarity what is the mixture of power, influence, disinterest and the impossibility of reform of a platform such as this social network.
Sophie Zhang willing to report Facebook to the United States Congress
Zhang was fired from the social network in mid-2020. Now, after revealing all this information, she has assured that she is willing to testify before the US Congress, there she will expose the company's inaction on hatred, manipulation by and various governments and misinformation. This being something that Facebook has never been interested in doing anything.
"During the three years that I worked at Facebook, I was able to find thousands of attempts by governments to abuse our platform and deceive their citizens, trying to create world news," commented the former employee.
He has also claimed to have "blood stains" on his hands, so he assures that he feels at peace when reporting the company to the United States Congress and also asks to increase protection actions with minors online and who make use of it, of social networks.