The whistleblower responsible for leaking a whole bunch of internal documents and data from Meta (Facebook) and testifying in front of lawmakers about the social media giant’s behaviour, Frances Haugen, is trying to help others take on Big Tech.
Haugen is looking to start a non-profit organisation that is going to focus on holding companies like Meta accountable for their actions.
According to a Politico report, Haugen wants to call this non-profit ‘Beyond the Screen’, and the organisation is going to focus on three main goals. One, educate lawyers who might go up against social media companies; two, incentivise investors to look into how socially responsible a social platform is before investing in it; and three, helping regulators and researchers get an idea about how these social platforms work.
Haugen told Politico that the disclosures and revelations she made has made people look into what going on beyond their screens and has also changed the calculations on how these (Big Tech) companies are approached.
According to reports, Haugen is already working with two other people on this project and is looking to raise around $5 million in funding to get Beyond the Screen up and working. Reports mention that Haugen has already received “at least some funding from come currently unnamed backers”.
Beyond the Screen’s main agenda is to help give lawyers a “leg up” when they take on class-action lawsuits against social media giants like Meta by guiding them to look for exactly what they need when they file. Haugen is also looking to “create a metric that investors can use to compare how well companies do at keeping their users safe” – which would be a way to justify why these investors should keep investing in, or divest from, a company that is good for business, “but bad for society”.
As The Verge points out, Haugen wants to create a parallel social network of sorts that can be used to test and demonstrate how their algorithms work. The main concept is to have a simulated platform that can help users understand how these social media companies work without these companies being involved. This could particularly prove to be helpful for researchers who have struggled with Big Tech in the past and their handed-out inaccurate data.
Haugen had told Vogue last year that she wanted to build “an open-source social network for students of all ages to learn and experiment on”, and Beyond the Screen appears to be a more “focused version” of that concept.
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— to www.businesstoday.in