Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has a book deal

The former Facebook manager who surprised the world this fall by leaking tens of thousands of internal documents and accusing his former employer of caring more about money than public safety has a book contract.

Little, Brown and Company announced Thursday that it had acquired a memoir project, “offering a critical examination of Facebook,” by Frances Haugen. The book does not yet have a title or release date. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“During my time on Facebook, I realized a devastating truth: Hardly anyone outside of Facebook knows what’s going on inside of Facebook. They operate in the dark,” Haugen said in a statement.

“They win by keeping their systems closed without oversight or transparency, shrouding their operations in secrecy and public relations. I came forward because I believe that every human being deserves the dignity of truth – and the truth is that Facebook buys its astronomical profits by sacrificing our security. But it does not have to be so – these problems can be solved. We can have social media that we love that also brings out the best in humanity. I hope this book will show us the way.

Haugen’s prominence has been cited as a sign of a growing wave of Big Tech whistleblowers. In Testimony in the Senate in October, Haugen alleged that the company failed to make changes to Instagram even after internal research showed apparent harm to some teens and failed to do enough to address hate speech and misinformation. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took issue with his accounts, calling them a “misrepresentation” of the company, but shared his view that the government needed to update its internet regulations.

Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Haugen is a data scientist with a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Olin College and a master’s degree in commerce from Harvard. She already had 15 years of experience at technology companies, including Google and Yelp, before being recruited by Facebook in 2019 and joining its civic integrity unit as a senior product manager.

Haugen and others said Facebook eliminated the Civic Integrity Unit after the November 2020 election — Facebook says the unit was not eliminated, but integrated into a larger team. Haugen said she’s become convinced the company can’t be trusted to “really invest what needs to be invested to keep Facebook from being dangerous.” She quit Facebook in May, but not before spending weeks editing and copying materials.

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