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Whistleblower Challenges Meta Over Climate Change, Covid-19 Misinformation

Frances Haugen has filed two new complaints against Meta in which he has accused the social network of misleading investors about its efforts to tackle misinformation about climate change and the pandemic

A whistleblower has filed complaint against Meta
A whistleblower has filed complaint against Meta regarding misinformation about climate change and the pandemic

Whistleblower Aid, the nonprofit organisation that represents Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, has filed two new complaints against Meta (formerly Facebook), accusing the social network of misleading investors about its efforts to tackle misinformation about climate change and Covid-19. 

According to The Washington Post, the two complaints have been filed in the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

The first complaint challenges Facebook's claims about fighting climate denial. The complaint contains internal documents detailing employees' personal experiences with climate-related falsehoods on the platform.

According to a new study led by climate advocacy group Stop Funding Heat and the Real Facebook Oversight Board, climate denial on Facebook has gotten even worse this year. 

The second complaint has also taken on Facebook's promise to combat Covid-19 misinformation and allges that it didn't align with its actions.

The Washington Post has reported that the complaint is supported by an internal report that shows a 20 per cent increase in misinformation in April and May 2020 records in which employees point out the presence of hundreds of anti-quarantine groups.

News website The Verge reported that last year, US President Joe Biden had also accused Facebook and other social platforms of "killing people" with misinformation about Covid-19 and its vaccines. 

"There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to stopping the spread of misinformation, but we're committed to building new tools and policies to combat it," said Meta spokesperson Drew Pusateri in a statement.

Engaging with governments from other jurisdictions, Facebook whistleblower Haugen continues to flag the core issues with the Facebook platform which are its algorithms that push extreme content and its decision to allow a higher rate of inappropriate content to remain. Speaking to Australia's Select Committee on Social Media and Online Safety, Haugen testified that Facebook takes down the "bare minimum" when it comes to harmful content.

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