Frances Haugen, who has made headlines blowing the whistle on Facebook towards the end of 2021, has filed two more whistleblower complaints with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Her complaints allege that Facebook misrepresented to investors their work to combat misinformation.
According to a February 18 article from The Washington Post, the two complaints were filed by Whistleblower Aid and allege that Facebook, now Meta, made “material misrepresentations and omissions in statements to investors” about fighting misinformation. The complaints “build on Haugen’s congressional testimony and filings her lawyers submitted to the financial regulator last year, and they draw from thousands of internal documents that she took before leaving the company in May,” the article states.
One of the complaints “alleges that climate change misinformation was prominently available on Facebook and that the company lacked a clear policy on the issue as recently as last year.” The other complaint alleges that internal documents show Facebook was not as dedicated to taking down “harmful covid misinformation” as company executives were making it seem. “The complaint cites internal company communications about the spread of vaccine hesitancy in comments and internal surveys that showed the proliferation of covid misinformation on the service,” the article reports.
The approach to file complaints with the SEC is based on the novel legal theory that “Facebook is violating U.S. securities laws by misleading the public and shareholders about its handling of criminal and illicit content on the site. This theory has been deployed by several other SEC whistleblowers over the past several years,” previous WNN reporting states.