Speed Reads

Facebook fallout

The founder of eBay is reportedly helping Frances Haugen take on Facebook

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen apparently has some very powerful people in her corner — namely one Pierre Omidyar, the "billionaire tech critic who founded eBay," Politico reports Wednesday.

Omidyar has provided financial support to "Haugen and the public relations operation that's helping her take on one of the world's most powerful companies," Politico writes, giving the former Facebook employee "an edge that many corporate whistleblowers lack." The billionaire's backing of Haugen also illustrates "once again that big money exists on all sides of the tech debate in Washington."

Last year, Omidyar's foundation gave $150,000 to the nonprofit organization representing Haugen, Whistleblower Aid. And his global philanthropic organization Luminate is handling Haugen's "press and government relations in Europe." Furthermore, Haugen's top U.S. PR representative runs public affairs for an advocacy organization that also receives funding from Omidyar, per Politico.

Omidyar's own network has grown "increasingly involved in agitating against the major tech companies," say Politico and The Verge. For instance, he has in the past provided financial backing for outlets like The Intercept and the open internet advocacy group Public Knowledge.

The billionaire's advocacy and investment group also recently published a blog post titled "In Support of Tech Whistleblowers Who Are Holding Tech To Account." 

"We are grateful to the brave people who have called out Big Tech for its bad behavior," the post reads. "Because of them, policymakers are taking notice and taking action to rein in their excessive power and restore trust and balance in digital markets." Read more at Politico.