The “Facebook regrets”, Frances Haugen, in adoption by Elon Musk

On the phone from London, Frances Haugen found her voice. Two days earlier, in Brussels, he had no voice to address the Committee on the Internal Market of the European Parliament. Faced with several MEPs present, the remorseful Facebook executive used his thin voice to hammer home that he was continuing his fight for freedom of expression. On November 8 last at the same forum, it is true, elected officials came in greater numbers and listened to him more than attentive.

His revelations on the hidden face of the social network, which hit London, Washington, Paris, Berlin, directly inspired the Digital Services Act (DSA), which was agreed upon by various EU institutions on April 23. The future European law, pushed by Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, and Margrethe Vestager, his counterpart who manages the competition, aims to regulate digital platforms in Europe, particularly in terms of moderate content. It should take effect in 2023. “I want to congratulate you,” the 38-year-old told MEPs. The Digital Services Act is a historic agreement that will make social networks less toxic for users. We now have a modern alternative to content regulation. »

Concordance of hours, two days after the compromise found in Europe on the DSA, Elon Musk announced his acquisition of Twitter, at a cost of 44 billion dollars. Before suspending the operation, while waiting to clearly verify the number of robots hiding behind certain users. With that in mind, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX requested an audit on the number of fake accounts.

Disinformation. Frances Haugen’s path crossed only once with the richest man on the planet, last year. However, his resistance and the businessman’s posture go together. “I have no idea of ​​Elon Musk’s intentions,” the engineer told Opinion. But I think he was just right to ask about ‘bots’, software that pretends to be users. “I’m glad he wants to delete them on Twitter because bots are the source of misinformation on this platform. The company needs to discuss how they influence the price in the digital business market. This is because companies are not encouraged to remove fake users, even dangerous ones. ”

“We need real standards to define what a person is on the Internet, because it has a direct impact on public safety. If Musk asks for help, I’ll be happy to help.”

The whistleblower details: “When ordinary companies tell you‘ We have a euro ’, the strict rules oblige them to prove the nature of this euro. So they do not lie or artificially exaggerate their value. If a tech company loses 1% of its users, its value could drop by 10%. They have a financial incentive to do wrong. We need real standards to define what a person is, because it has a direct impact on public safety. If Musk asks for help, I will be happy to help. »

Elon Musk also wants to allow users to modify algorithms as they wish, and make Twitter’s code transparent and open, thus deviating from the traditional advertising-based economic model. He also plans to remove Twitter from the stock market. For Fabrice Epelboin, professor and specialist in the geopolitics of cyberspace, Frances Haugen is determined to be self -aware, which sociologists like her are not. “For Musk, Haugen is a moral guarantee that has shown his resilience”, realizes the researcher who also criticizes Twitter’s bizarre methodology for detecting fake accounts.

For the Harvard graduate, cleaning up the rules of the game when it comes to counting flesh and blood users already means launching his own non-government organization. In fact, over the past seven months, he has not ceased to be called upon by leaders around the world to testify and deliver his expertise: Great Britain, the United States, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia and Norway. Advice to the State where he is not asking for compensation.

“Agency”. At the same time, conferences – paid for at this time – have increased, even as the Puerto Rico resident says he doesn’t have much expense. In recent weeks, we’ve seen it among students at the prestigious Cambridge University in Great Britain, or even at Olin College, in Massachusetts. During these interventions, he dramatically reveals his fears about the consequences of the metaverse for the most isolated people.

He is also writing a book, which is scheduled to be released in March 2023. It will focus on the notion of “agency” (agency, in English), the faculty that an entity needs to act in the face of adversity. “My personal mission is to remind people that they are always free, no matter the circumstances. We make our choices and we can decide to take action, even if that action is limited. Let me take my own example: in 2014, I found myself paralyzed from legs to knees. The walk became a test. Then I discovered that I still had some rest. I can still make choices. I could decide to take control of what I could do and move on. Admit that we are not powerless, grow to be the best version of ourselves … Even if you are in jail, confined in a cell, deprived of freedom, even if you still have decisive choices to make, even if they are small. »

Meanwhile, the one who is also the boss of Tesla and Starlink is at the time of a massive decision. On Friday, on his Twitter account with more than 94 million subscribers, Elon Musk wanted to reassure those who feared he would be enthusiastic about the social network at the expense of his other businesses. “To be clear, I spend less than 5% of my time getting on Twitter,” he wrote. It’s not rocket science! “

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