Meta, Facebook’s parent corporation, is facing new whistleblower allegations accusing it of deceiving investors about its climate change activities and COVID-19 misinformation.
Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit group supporting former Facebook product manager turned whistleblower Frances Haugen, filed the two new charges with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this month. According to The Washington Post, which cited redacted copies of the documents, the accusations say that Facebook made “material misrepresentations” and omitted facts in investor statements regarding its efforts to combat misinformation on its platforms.
Whistleblower Aid said it filed the complaints with the SEC, stating that investors have a legal right to honest answers from the corporation.
According to the records shared by the SEC, Facebook was stating one thing in private and another in public about their approach to climate change and COVID-19 falsehoods. The SEC did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the Post, one of the new complaints argues that climate change misinformation was “prominently available” on Facebook despite statements from executives about their commitment to combating the “global crisis.” According to the other lawsuit, internal papers revealed the spread of COVID-19 misinformation, including vaccination hesitancy, even as Facebook management lauded attempts to remove this harmful content.
For years, Facebook has been chastised for failing to do enough to address hate speech and misinformation. Haugen accused the corporation of prioritising profits before user safety last year, and he released internal material to Congress and the SEC. The Wall Street Journal, followed by a group of US and international news organisations, published reports based on some of those documents.
According to Facebook, the leaked internal documents are being mischaracterized in order to present a “false picture” of the corporation. According to the social network, over 40,000 people work on safety and security, and it has invested more than $13 billion in these issues on its platforms.
On Friday, a corporate spokeswoman stated that the firm is committed to combating disinformation, highlighting its Climate Science Center (a resource that connects users with up-to-date climate information) and its collaboration with independent fact-checkers.
“There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to stopping the spread of misinformation, but we’re committed to building new tools and policies to combat it,” replied Meta spokesperson Drew Pusateri in an email .