Saturday, November 27, 2021

Facebook Could Face SEC Probe, Frances Haugen Hedges Farewell Exit Bet With 8 Complaints

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When Frances Haugen left Facebook with thousands of internal documents, she didn’t just bring them to the press or Congress. She filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the social media giant misled the public, Congress and investors.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler would not confirm if the agency was taking action related to Haugen’s disclosures. In an interview with MSNBC, Gensler declined to comment, but acknowledged that if a public company or its executives mislead the public in a material way, “that can be a violation of securities laws.”

Haugen’s complaints allege that Facebook misled investors and the public about its efforts to combat violent extremism, hate speech and human trafficking. They also claim the company misrepresented its negative impact on teens’ mental health and its role in fomenting ethnic violence globally. Facebook was also accused of misleading advertisers by inflating its shrinking user base.

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