2023 Provost’s Forum to Feature Keynote by Data Scientist and Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen

Feb. 17 forum offers an opportunity for in-depth consideration of ‘Big Problems in Big Tech’

Frances Haugen is an advocate for accountability & transparency in social media.

The 2023 Provost’s Forum is being organized by a university-wide steering committee co-chaired by Farahany and Abbas Benmamoun, vice provost for faculty advancement and professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and linguistics.

About the Provost’s Forum

The Provost’s Forum is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff—as well as members of the broader Durham and North Carolina communities—to explore the core values of inquiry, expression, and community in an academic setting where those values are regularly tested by competing concerns.

Past forums have focused on topics including race, community, and the pursuit of justice; speech, freedom and civility on college campuses; and immigration.

About Frances Haugen

Frances Haugen is an advocate for accountability & transparency in social media.

A specialist in algorithmic product management, Haugen worked on ranking algorithms at Google, Pinterest, Yelp and Facebook. In 2019, she was recruited to Facebook to be the lead product manager on the Civic Misinformation team, which dealt with issues related to democracy and misinformation, and later also worked on counter-espionage.

During her time at Facebook, Haugen became increasingly alarmed by the choices the company makes prioritizing their own profits over public safety and putting people's lives at risk. At great personal risk, Haugen decided to blow the whistle on Facebook.

Since going public, Haugen has testified in front of the US Congress, UK and EU Parliaments, the French Senate and National Assembly, and has engaged with lawmakers internationally on how to best address the negative externalities of social media platforms.

Haugen holds a degree in electrical and computer engineering from Olin College and an MBA from Harvard University.