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Facebook’s damaging document leak is expected to continue for 6 more weeks

October 26, 2021, 12:12 PM UTC

The reputational damage Facebook has suffered from the massive Facebook Papers document leak shows no sign of ending anytime soon.

More documents and articles on Facebook’s rocky governance are expected to be released over the next six weeks, according to Casey Newton, the Verge journalist who first reported Facebook’s “tiered system” of policing information.

The fallout is a continuation of whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony to governments in the U.S. and the U.K. that social media giant Facebook disregarded user safety in the pursuit of profit. What began as a series of Wall Street Journal stories about Facebook’s knowledge of toxic communities across its platforms has since spiraled into a huge document dump that has been shared by a consortium of 17 U.S. news outlets. Yesterday, those organizations released a series of damaging articles that portrayed a company that was both willing to go to extremes to offset an aging user base and ambivalent about policing harmful content.

Haugen has appeared before both a U.S. Senate panel as well as the U.K. Parliament, arguing Facebook should “slow down” how people use its platform, to counteract disinformation—something it chooses not to do because it would mean a reduction in profit.  

Facebook shares have been resilient throughout the media craze. Shares rose in extended trading on Monday after the company reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings—proving Facebook investors’ ability to look past any of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s missteps. Facebook shares are still up 20% in 2021.

On the earnings call, Zuckerberg kicked off by vehemently defending the company, noting the leaked papers were a coordinated effort “to paint a false picture” of Facebook.

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