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Frances Haugen wants to train lawyers to fight Facebook

Frances Haugen wants to train lawyers to fight Facebook

Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who released a trove of internal documents and data from Facebook and testified before lawmakers about the social network's behavior, is now looking to start a nonprofit focused on holding companies like Meta accountable. , according to a report. Politics

The organization, which Haugen wants to call Beyond the Screen, plans to focus on three main goals: educating attorneys who could potentially go against social media companies, encouraging investors to take a closer look. It measures how socially responsible a tech company is before giving it money, and allows regulators and researchers to see how platforms work. Politico reports that Haugen is currently working on the project with two others, and is looking to raise about $5 million in funding to get it off the ground. The report also mentions that it has already received at least some funding from some unknown backers.

Haugen hopes Beyond The Screen can give lawyers a leg up when they are involved in class-action lawsuits against the social media giant by making sure they know what to look for when filing. She also wants to create a metric that investors can use to compare how well companies do at keeping their users safe -- potentially giving them a way to prove they're such a company. What can be good for business but bad for society?

Ultimately, Haugen wants to build a fake social network that can be used to demonstrate and test how the platforms and their algorithms work under the hood. The idea that a mock platform could help people better understand how companies work without those companies actually having to be involved — it could be a boon to researchers who have worked with Facebook in the past. And others are feeding them wrong data.

It sounds like a more focused version of a concept, Haugen told Vogue last year, when she explained that she wanted to create "an open-source social network for students of all ages to learn and experiment with." As stated in the article. (Vogue also noted that Haugen was invested in crypto, a feeling that may have been unfortunate given the current state of the market.)

Haugen says she aims to get to a point where this type of organization is no longer needed: "My biggest hope is that I am no longer relevant," she told Politico. However it may take a long time for this to happen. As Haugen herself points out, there are countries where Facebook is essentially the entire internet – while she is pushed for legislation in the US and EU, she says she is also focusing on the rest of the world beyond screens. wants to do This would probably mean striving for change in places where not much groundwork has been done, which could be a significant effort.

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