eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar is backing the Facebook whistleblower

The Verge - Wed Oct 20 19:31

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in front of Congress two weeks ago about the ways the company’s products can bring harm to users, after leaking documents supporting her claims to The Wall Street Journal. Now Politico reports that the campaign to support Haugen’s advocacy against her former employer has been aided by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar.

Omidyar is no stranger to the media, providing financial backing to The Intercept, for example. According to Politico, when asked to comment, his advocacy group Omidyar Network pointed to an unbylined blog post that went up today titled “In Support of Tech Whistleblowers Who are Holding Tech to Account.”

If you’re looking for a “why” behind the impactful rollout of Haugen’s testimony and the Facebook Files reported by the WSJ, the blog post makes Omidyar Network’s intentions clear.

“With little competition, regulation, or other countervailing checks and balances, Big Tech has too much influence. Until recently, these platforms largely avoided meaningful public oversight which has allowed them to do as they wish, often at the expense of consumers, start-ups, and their employees.”

“Even as Big Tech’s reach has extended further and faster, it has remained largely opaque. We have had a nagging feeling that the harms they cause are known to them — and are far worse than the public could imagine. That has been validated as truth by a series of courageous whistleblowers who have spoken out and delivered evidence of wrongdoing and misconduct.”