Facebook quickly leads users from Melania Trump to QAnon and white genocide: whistleblower
Lauren Haugen. (Screenshot)

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen confirmed reports that new users can be quickly led to extremist content by the site's algorithm.

A researcher employed by the social media company set up a fake account showing interest in politics, parenting, Christianity, Fox News and Donald Trump, and within two days the algorithm was recommending groups dedicated to QAnon and other conspiratorial content that violated Facebook's own rules.

"Facebook has said it takes two to tango," Haugen told a U.K. parliamentary committee Monday. "Nick Clegg wrote a post back in March saying, 'don't blame us for the extreme content you see on Facebook. You chose your friends, you chose your interests, it takes two to tango. When you make a brand-new account and you follow some mainstream interests, for example, Fox News, Trump, Melania, it will lead you very rapidly to QAnon, it will lead you very rapidly to white genocide content."

"But this isn't just true on the right, it's true on the left, as well. These systems lead to amplification and division, I think you're right -- it's a question of, like, the system wants to find the content that will make you engaged more and that is extreme, polarizing content."

"Facebook is very good at dancing with data," she added. "They have very good communicators and the reality is, like, the business model is leading them to dangerous actions."

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