Can Social Media and Democracy Co-exist? A Conversation with Frances Haugen (Podcast)


Mark Blyth | Rhodes Center Podcast – TRANSCEND Media Service

27 May 2022 – From 2019 to 2021, Frances Haugen worked as a Product Manager in Facebook’s Civic Integrity Department. During that time she got an inside view into how Facebook’s algorithms are deliberately designed to influence its users. She also saw something deeply worrying: that this influence was often used to grow Facebook’s profits at the expense of users’ safety and wellbeing.

In 2021 she anonymously leaked tens of thousands of internal documents to the Wall Street Journal. Since then she’s testified before Congress on the matter, and helped start a global movement to better understand and regulate Big Tech.

On this episode (25 min) Mark talks with Frances about her experience whistleblowing on one of the world’s most powerful companies, and what she thinks we need to do to create social media platforms that are compatible with a functioning democracy.



The Rhodes Center Podcast (Watson Institute/Brown University), hosted by Mark Blyth and Brendan Greeley, features conversations with some of the most thought-provoking figures in international finance and economics. Mark and Brendan talk with scholars, policy makers, and finance experts about some of today’s most pressing economic issues, and about how those issues affect our daily lives.

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