New Facebook whistleblower alleges company wanted to avoid 'a fight' with Steve Bannon

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Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Don't look now, but there's another Facebook whistleblower.

This time, a former member of Facebook's Integrity team in an affidavit alleged the company "prizes growth and profits over combatting hate speech, misinformation and other threats to the public," The Washington Post reported. The news comes after former Facebook employee Frances Haugen made similar allegations before Congress.

In the affidavit, the new whistleblower reportedly describes an instance in which Facebook communications official Tucker Bounds allegedly said, as the company was facing scrutiny over Russian interference in the 2016 election, that legislators would "get pissy" but "in a few weeks they will move onto something else. Meanwhile we are printing money in the basement, and we are fine." The affidavit reportedly also accuses Facebook of undermining efforts to crack down on misinformation and hate speech due to concerns about angering former President Donald Trump and his allies or hurting user growth. And in an interview with the Post, the whistleblower alleged that when questioned about a policy exempting publishers including Breitbart News from its standard rules, Facebook's vice president of global public policy Joel Kaplan said, "Do you want to start a fight with Steve Bannon?"

The whistleblower additionally alleges Facebook didn't take adequate action when military officials in Myanmar were using the platform to spread hate speech amid the mass killings of the Rohingya people, saying, "I, working for Facebook, had been a party to genocide." Another allegation was that there is "illegal and truly horrific activity occurring inside Facebook Groups," but Facebook is "not actually interested in fixing this problem," CNN reports.

A Facebook spokesperson criticized the Post for its reporting, saying it "sets a dangerous precedent to hang an entire story on a single source making a wide range of claims without any apparent corroboration." Meanwhile, Kaplan said he has "consistently pushed for fair treatment of all publishers, irrespective of ideological viewpoint." Read more at The Washington Post.

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