2021 Facebook leak

In 2021, an internal document leak from the company then known as Facebook (now Meta Platforms, or Meta) showed it was aware of harmful societal effects from its platforms. The leak, released by whistleblower Frances Haugen, resulted in reporting from The Wall Street Journal in September, as The Facebook Files series, as well as the Facebook Papers, by a consortium of news outlets the next month.

Primarily, the reports proved that based on internally commissioned studies, the company was fully aware of negative impact on teenage users of Instagram, and the contribution of Facebook activity to violence in developing countries. Other takeaways of the leak include the impact of the company's platforms on spreading false information and promoting anger-provoking posts. Furthermore, harmful content had been known to be pushed through Facebook algorithms reaching young users. The type of content included anorexia posts and self harm photos.


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