Facebook, Frances Haugen supports herself with cryptocurrencies
Facebook, Frances Haugen supports herself with cryptocurrencies

Facebook, Frances Haugen supports herself with cryptocurrencies

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 25 Oct 2021

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Former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen is supporting herself with cryptocurrencies

She has been in the news for having denounced the “ambiguous” behaviour of the social network, and has denied that she lives off alleged financiers

Frances Haugen and cryptocurrencies

It was the New York Times that unravelled the mystery of the financial sources of the “deep throat” who revealed Facebook’s hottest secrets to the press. 

According to the NYT, the person behind Frances Haugen is not Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of eBay, but a wealth of cryptocurrencies:

She told the paper:

“For the foreseeable future, I’m fine, because I did buy crypto at the right time”.

It is not known what “the right time” was, nor which cryptocurrencies are contributing to her financial support at such a difficult time. 

The New York Times also reveals that Frances Haugen is currently based in Puerto Rico, a Caribbean island that is considered to be very tolerant of cryptocurrencies, particularly because of its tax regime that does not tax capital gains.

The move is said to have been prompted by health conditions, but it seems that the desire to reach out to what the newspaper considers to be “crypto friends” has prevailed. 

As far as the relationship with the eBay co-founder is concerned, Frances Haugen explained that she has received financial support from non-profit groups supported by Omidyar, for travel and the like. 

Facebook supports cryptocurrencies

The relationship with the press

The long article in the New York Times was actually written to describe Frances Haugen’s relationship with the press. The former Facebook product manager is said to have started secretly revealing news about the social network to the Wall Street Journal. 

But when her fame grew following her hearing in the US Congress, she opted for another path. Thanks to a communications agency founded by Bill Burton, a former Barack Obama aide, she set up a Slack group with some of the most famous newspapers in Europe and the US. 

This was a bit embarrassing, especially for the Wall Street Journal, which had first “pampered” its source concerning the Facebook scandals.

Although the stated aim was to release documents on Facebook and primarily protect users in more “fragile” states (identified as non-English-speaking countries), the Wall Street Journal was not the only one to do so. (identified as non-English-speaking), the chat ended up creating misunderstandings and various clashes between the journalists present, who were more inclined to compete with each other than to collaborate.

Facebook’s response

Facebook did not passively accept the accusations made by its former product manager. In a constant battle against the media, who always seem to be on his back, Mark Zuckerberg denied Frances Haugen’s allegations. 

In the wake of these new controversies, the CEO of Facebook is also having more and more problems with other products linked to the social network, including the Novi wallet and the Diem stablecoin. 

A group of US senators, including the renowned crypto-critic Elizabeth Warren, has called for the immediate shutdown of the wallet. The reason: Facebook cannot be trusted to manage a currency and a payment system given all the scandals it is involved in. 

At the moment, the initiative of the US senators has only taken the form of a letter to the CEO of the social network. In other words, nothing practical.

In the meantime, Facebook moves forward with its projects and does not let itself be held back by the controversy and scandalous articles: the next step will be the creation of a metaverse, and who knows whether this sort of parallel reality will be protected from the accusations of these days. 

Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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