The Power of One: How I Found the Strength to Tell the Truth and Why I Blew the Whistle on Facebook (Hardcover)
In 2021, when news outlets feasted on “the Facebook Files,” Frances Haugen went public as the former employee who blew the whistle on the company by copying tens of thousands of pages of documents. She testified to Congress and spoke to the media. She was hailed at President Biden’s first State of the Union Address. She made sure everyone understood exactly what the documents revealed: Facebook knew it had accidentally changed its algorithm to reward extremism and refused to fix it; it knew that its customers were using the platform to foment violence, to spread falsehoods, to diminish the self-esteem of young women, and more. But how was it that Haugen was the only employee at the company who dared to step forward?
The answer to that question is an inspiring tale of one young woman’s life and the choices she made. From an isolated childhood in Iowa to an unaccredited college, to one among the few women at Google in its heyday, Frances Haugen learned how to focus on what mattered, and to ignore her critics. To harness the strength of standing in the truth.
The Power of One is equally inspiring—the story of a woman who went against the grain, again and again, and changed the world—and horrifying, as the culture and practices of Facebook are brought into the bright light of day, for the first time.
Frances Haugen is an American data engineer and scientist, and whistleblower. A graduate of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering and Harvard Business School, she worked at Google, Yelp, and Pinterest before joining Facebook in 2019 and working in its civic integrity department. In the spring of 2021, she disclosed tens of thousands of internal documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Wall Street Journal, revealing Facebook’s awareness and complicity in radicalization and political violence around the world.
“...this could be our seatbelts moment, where we finally demand a basic degree of consumer safety from the increasingly opaque tech platforms bending our reality to their whims—and one day, we’ll look back and shake our heads and wonder how it couldn’t have been more obvious…[THE POWER OF ONE is] a crash course on how everything from recommendation algorithms to basic data science to the inner workings of Meta/Facebook all actually work."—Vanity Fair