Whistleblower singer Frances Haugen still believes in Silicon Valley

In those jobs after Google and Facebook in front of you, did your ideas for professional companies stop?

I still enjoy many of Silicon Valley’s professional companies. I don’t think there is natural rot or something like that. I believe there is a need for reflection on every power, every platform that has the most power. And then I think we need a slightly different relationship with them.

By 2019 Facebook had already been harassed and had public flaws. However, you joined the polls.

I was approached by an employer in December 2018. I said the only thing I could deal with was false social media. I think we need more people working within Facebook to fix Facebook problems. I strongly encourage people to work on Facebook.

Hold on. Even if you expose all these bad documents, are you encouraging people to join us on Facebook?

People doubt if you can be a good person and work on Facebook. If so, Facebook is a good enough organization that if more people come there and decide to fix it, I think they can have a positive effect.

Yet you left.

I did so because I could no longer live in Puerto Rico [where I moved for health reasons]. I still suffer from severe pain every day, because I was paralyzed under my knees. Even returning to the Bay Area right now is incredibly difficult because of the cold and wet conditions here, as well as the daily pain I live here. That’s why I had to choose between being in a place where I was comfortable or working on Facebook.

Wait — if Facebook told you you could work from Puerto Rico, would you still work there? And none of this would have happened?

At some point, I had to keep going. At some point, you need to start a conversation. But I don’t think I would have left immediately.

Then, when it was announced that you would not be able to work in Puerto Rico, you made a very important decision. Why do you feel that this is your responsibility to start a conversation?

I did not believe that they could solve their problems on their own. The truth of the structure of any organization is that if you want to change, you have to have a critical mass of people working to solve the problem. On Facebook I was part of a team of seven or eight content managers and program managers. Within six weeks, the whole pan was gone. Most of them were at first human integrity. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that Facebook has quit its job or is not taking it seriously.

I’m not a person to be separated from a needy person. I dedicate myself to Burning Man as a guard because I believe people change with the help of. I do not believe that people change from shame. I knew that Facebook had some problems before I joined and I had the consequences of this because I had a friend who was a regular. But when I arrived, I had been thinking about false stories about the United States. I never thought about this in the most fragile places in the world. But even within two weeks of joining, I was like, “Oh, my goodness, this is worse than I thought it would be.” And I think sometime in 2020, it began to dawn on me how many people were in line.

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