Frances Haugen, the ex-Facebook employee who found herself testifying to Congress pressing for regulations that could curtail conservative speech on the platform, is not simply a rogue employee telling Americans what she saw: She is working with Democratic operatives — including the public relations firm that employed now-White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki until she left to join the Biden administration — in what appears to be a carefully choreographed political maneuver.
White House ethics disclosures obtained by The Daily Wire show that Psaki was a senior advisor at Bryson Gillette until September 2020. Bryson Gillette is a PR firm run by Democratic operatives including former Obama aide Bill Burton; Rebecca Pearcey, a former senior advisor to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA); Mike Trujillo, a former senior aide to Hillary Clinton; and Tess Seger, who worked as communications director for Sen. Cory Book (D-NJ).
The Free Beacon reported that Bryson Gillette is providing Haugen with “strategic communications guidance,” helping run what one Republican called “an incredibly well-orchestrated communications campaign.”
Bryson Gillette also runs publicity for the nonprofit Center for Humane Technology, which has waged a policy war with Facebook. Ethics disclosures show that Center was one of Psaki’s clients personally when she was at the company. The group says “We reframe the insidious effects of persuasive technology, expose the runaway systems beneath, and deepen the capacity of global decision-makers and everyday leaders to take wise action.” It had revenues of $5 million in 2020, according to tax disclosures.
Bryson Gillette did not return a request for comment.
Haugen told senators “Facebook’s products harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy.” However, some of that “division” is simply reflecting the speech of Americans who live in a country that is divided, and Haugen’s call for more regulation appeared to be a plea for cultivating a public platform filled with content that was more one-sided.
Besides being a dubious proposition on its face that the Silicon Valley-based company — whose employees, campaign records show, donated overwhelmingly to Democrats — is overly permissive with conservatives, recent history shows the trouble with a tech company trying to adjudicate assertions about a wide variety of topics in real time.
As the Post-Millennial reported, as a member of the “civic integrity team,” Haugen appears to have been part of the team responsible for suppressing the New York Post’s election-eve bombshell about Hunter Biden. That story was suppressed when Facebook expressed concerns about its veracity, even though it had no evidence the story was not true. In fact, it was true. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, which also suppressed the story, later apologized for the move.
Though Democratic senators eager for more censorship on the platform eagerly embraced Haugen, Facebook has questioned her ability to speak to the issues she has positioned herself as an expert on, with Director of Policy Communications Lena Pietsch saying Frances “had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives – and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question.” The company said she stole documents that she shared with the Wall Street Journal.
The Daily Wire previously reported that Haugen has a history of campaign contributions to Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, has a history of calling foul on identity politics infractions in the workplace, and is also represented by lawyers who backed the intelligence community official whose testimony led to the impeachment of Donald Trump.
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