Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen Says She Is Financially Stable Because of Crypto


Facebook’s former product manager turned whistleblower Frances Haugen has revealed that her refuge in Puerto Rico is “fine for the foreseeable future” because of a well-timed investment in cryptocurrency. The whistleblower who’s made headlines recently for calling out Facebook’s “betrayal of democracy”, made her crypto investment known in an interview where she asserted that she is not reliant financially on anyone. Haugen did not disclose specifics of her crypto-related investments but mentioned it to end rumours of financial dependence.

In an interview with the New York Times Haugen revealed that she moved to Puerto Rico to join her “crypto friends” apart from dealing with an ongoing health issue. She also mentioned being funded by non-profit organisations supported by eBay founder Omidyar, but said that assistance only covered her travel expenses.

Haugen, who worked as a product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, provided documents used in a Wall Street Journal investigation for months and also appeared at a Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to teen girls. Haugen claims that Facebook’s closed design means it has no oversight — even from its own Oversight Board, which is as blind as the public.

The whistleblower went on to allege that Facebook knows how to make its platforms safer, but won’t do so “because they have put their astronomical profits before people.”

During her testimony, Haugen also suggested that Facebook made changes to its “dangerous” algorithms that contributed to divisiveness in society, and realised these tweaks kept people returning to the platform.

This isn’t the first time a whistleblower has lauded cryptocurrency despite all its presumed falsities. Edward Snowden, a former NSA and CIA computer intelligence consultant and presumably one of the best-known whistleblowers also managed to sustain financially because of his Bitcoin investments in the past.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Shomik is a senior sub-editor at Gadgets 360. As someone who’s screened the consumer tech space for the past four years, he’s now shifted focus to the crypto-verse. When not converting currency values in his head, you may find him in an intense five-a-side football match or grinding out the newest Destiny 2 weekly challenge on his Xbox. You can reach him for tips or queries at ShomikB@ndtv.com.

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