Live updates on Frances Haugen’s testimony


Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen explained how the social media platform could become a better environment, saying it could introduce transparency measures and small frictions, and move away from the “dangerous” ranking system based on engagement.

It would refocus the amplification methods and not focus on “picking winners or losers in the ideas market,” she told senators on Tuesday.

“On Twitter, you need to click a link before sharing it. Small actions like this friction don’t require picking good and bad ideas, they just make the platform less hectic, less responsive. Facebook says that each of these small actions dramatically reduces disinformation, hate speech and inciting violence content on platforms, ”Haugen said.

She advocated for chronologically ordered content instead.

“I’m a big believer in chronological, order in time, with a bit of spammy emotion. Because I think we don’t want computers to decide what we focus on, we should have software. on a human scale, or humans having conversations together, not facilitating computers from who we can hear, ”Haugen said.

Additionally, she urged a privacy-conscious regulator working with academics, researchers and government agencies to “synthesize data requests” because currently the social media giant is not obligated to disclose Datas.

“Even data as simple as today’s existing integrity systems and their performance? She suggested. “Basic actions like transparency would make a huge difference.”

What does the engagement-based ranking system mean?

Facebook, like other platforms, uses algorithms to amplify or boost content that receives engagement in the form of likes, shares, or comments. From Facebook’s perspective, it helps a user “enjoy” their feed, Haugen explained.

“The dangers of engagement-based ranking are that Facebook knows that content that elicits an extreme reaction from you is more likely to get a click, comment, or share,” which is not necessary for the user benefit, she added. “This is because they know that other people will produce more content if they get likes, comments and shares. They prioritize the content in your feed so that you give small doses of dopamine to your friends so they can create more content.

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