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Join TSPR for a weekly conversation about media issues. News Director Rich Egger and expert panelists discuss what’s in the news about the news business.

Whistleblower says Facebook undermines democracy

A former data scientist at Facebook testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee this month. She did not paint a pretty picture of the company.

As NPR reported, Frances Haugen provided a clear and detailed glimpse inside the tech giant. She said Facebook harms children, sows division, and undermines democracy in pursuit of breakneck growth and "astronomical profits."

Before Haugen left Facebook, she copied thousands of pages of confidential documents and shared them with lawmakers, regulators and The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook disputes the allegations -- saying it does limit misinformation.

A University of Illinois journalism professor who studies social media and misinformation, Nikki Usher, said Facebook’s primary goal will never be in promoting correct information, so lawmakers should focus on limiting the company’s reach by breaking up the company.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.