Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen at the Quick Center, Nov. 1

Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen at the Quick Center, Nov. 1

Fairfield University’s Open VISIONS Forum will welcome Frances Haugen for a lecture titled “Ethics, the Public Good, and the Challenge of Social Media.”

Media Contact: Lori N. Jones, ljones@fairfield.edu, 203-254-4000 x2975

From the U.S. Congress to the U.K. and E.U. parliaments, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has engaged international lawmakers in dialogue on how best to address the perils of social media.

Haugen will bring the conversation to the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts in an Open VISIONS Forum lecture titled “Ethics, the Public Good, and the Challenge of Social Media” on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. This event is made possible through the generous support of Patrick J. Waide ’59 and the Waide Center for Applied Ethics. 

Haugen holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Olin College, and an MBA from Harvard University. She is a specialist in algorithmic product management, having worked on ranking algorithms at Google, Pinterest, Yelp, and Facebook.

Recruited in June 2019 to be the lead product manager on Facebook’s Civic Integrity team, Haugen dealt with issues related to democracy and misinformation, and later worked on counterespionage. In late 2020, she made a courageous decision to blow the whistle on the company, accusing Facebook of misleading the public and investors on how it handles issues such as climate change, misinformation, and hate speech — thereby prioritizing its own profits over public safety.

Behind the scenes, Haugen gathered tens of thousands of pages of Facebook research that exposed the harm the company was knowingly causing. After quitting her job, she filed an anonymous complaint against Facebook with federal law enforcement and shared her trove of information with lawmakers, regulators, and journalists at The Wall Street Journal, before revealing her identity in an appearance on 60 Minutes.

Driven by the belief that correcting public risks on social media must start at the government level, Haugen now works as an international advocate for transparency and accountability. Her website asserts that she “fundamentally believes that the problems we are facing today with social media are solvable, and is dedicated to uniting people around the world to bring about change.”

This Nov. 1 Open VISIONS Forum lecture featuring Frances Haugen is supported, in part, by Moffly Media, Delamar Southport, Delamar Spa, and the Artisan. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. event are on sale now at quickcenter.com for $30, or $20 for Quick Members. For more information, contact the Quick Center Box Office at 203-254-4010, Monday through Friday, from 12 to 5 p.m.


Posted On: October 14, 2022

Volume: 54 Number: 31

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.