In collaboration with the Ivan Allen College, the Center for Computing and Society, and the Cecil B. Day Program for Business Ethics, the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact presents the opening Impact Lunchtime Talk of the 2022-23 season featuring Facebook whistleblower and Founder of Beyond the Screen, Frances Haugen.
Frances Haugen is an advocate for accountability & transparency in social media. Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Frances is the daughter of two professors and grew up attending the Iowa caucuses with her parents, instilling a strong sense of pride in democracy and responsibility for civic participation.
Frances holds an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from Olin College and an MBA from Harvard University. She is a specialist in algorithmic product management, having worked on ranking algorithms at Google, Pinterest, Yelp, and Facebook. In 2019, she was recruited to Facebook to be the lead Product Manager on the Civic Misinformation team, which dealt with issues related to democracy and misinformation. She later worked on counter-espionage.
During her time at Facebook, Frances became increasingly alarmed by the company's choices, prioritizing its profits over public safety and putting people's lives at risk. Finally, as a last resort and at significant personal risk, Frances made the courageous decision to blow the whistle on Facebook. The Wall Street Journal initially reported on what became known as "The Facebook Files."
Since going public, Frances has testified in front of the US Congress, UK and EU Parliaments, the French Senate, and National Assembly and has engaged with lawmakers internationally on how to best address the negative externalities of social media platforms.
Frances has filed a series of complaints with the US Federal Government relating to Facebook (now named 'Meta'), claiming that the company has been misleading the public and investors on how it handles issues such as climate change, misinformation, and hate speech, and the impact of its services on the mental health of children and young adults.
Frances is fundraising to get her nonprofit, Beyond the Screens, off the ground. The organization plans to focus on three main goals: educating lawyers who could potentially be going up against social media companies, incentivizing investors to look into how socially responsible a tech company is before giving it money, and giving regulators and researchers an inside look into how platforms work.
Frances fundamentally believes that the problems we face today with social media are solvable and is dedicated to uniting people worldwide to bring about change. Finally, we can have social media that brings out the best in humanity.
Impact is a monthly series of meaningful, free and open conversations. The main goal of the series is to engage students, faculty, staff, and the broader community on topics that matter through discussions and presentations by leaders and entrepreneurs from all sectors. Past talks are accessible on the Institute for Leadership and Social Impact's YouTube page.
Lunch will be provided with registration.
Virtual attendance link (for those who can't attend in person).