Media Moves

How the Facebook whistleblower vetted a WSJ reporter

October 25, 2021

Posted by Chris Roush

Jeff Horwitz

Ben Smith of the New York Times writes about how the Facebook whistleblower “auditioned” Wall Street Journal reporter Jeff Horwitz.

Smith writes, “Frances Haugen first met Jeff Horwitz, a tech-industry reporter for The Wall Street Journal, early last December on a hiking trail near the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, Calif.

“She liked that he seemed thoughtful, and she liked that he’d written about Facebook’s role in transmitting violent Hindu nationalism in India, a particular interest of hers. She also got the impression that he would support her as a person, rather than as a mere source who could supply him with the inside information she had picked up during her nearly two years as a product manager at Facebook.

“‘I auditioned Jeff for a while,’ Ms. Haugen told me in a phone interview from her home in Puerto Rico, ‘and one of the reasons I went with him is that he was less sensationalistic than other choices I could have made.’

“She became one of the greatest sources of the century, turning over the tens of thousands of pages of internal documents she had collected. Starting Sept. 13, The Journal justified her confidence with a meticulous rollout that included 11 major articles by Mr. Horwitz and other reporters cleverly packaged under a catchy rubric, The Facebook Files.”

Read more here.

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