Whistleblower Frances Haugen — a former Facebook engineer who leaked documents suggesting the firm put profits before user safety — launched a new organisation on Thursday, September 22, devoted to fighting the harm caused by social media.
The nonprofit organization, ‘Beyond the Screen’, has said its first project will be to document the various ways big tech is failing in its “legal and ethical obligations to society” and to help come up with ways to solve those shortcomings. These can include recommendations for users, as well as policy proposals directed at lawmakers and regulators.
“We can have social media that brings out the best in us, and that’s what Beyond the Screen is working toward,” Haugen said in a statement.
“Beyond the Screen will focus on tangible solutions to help users gain control of our social media experience.”
Haugen last year leaked reams of internal studies showing executives knew of their site’s potential for harm, prompting a renewed US push for regulation.
Haugen contended the tech titan, which has since rebranded itself as Meta, put profits over safety. Meta has fought back against the accusation.
Haugen’s nonprofit said it will collaborate with groups including Common Sense Media and Project Liberty that share a “commitment to supporting healthier social media.”
Beyond the Screen’s first project “represents a bold, inclusive, and much-needed effort to drive a seismic shift in how social media operates,” Project Liberty founder Frank McCourt said, according to Beyond the Screen’s statement.
“We look forward to working with Frances and her team to launch this new initiative and advance our shared goal of enabling healthier digital communities and stopping harmful business models.”