Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before Senate committee

By on October 5, 2021 0

Francoise Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower who revealed her identity on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, testified before the Senate on Tuesday. She said the platform’s decisions are “a huge problem” for children, public safety and democracy.

Her testimony comes after she told “60 Minutes” that “there was a conflict of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook” and which Facebook “chose to optimize for his own interests, such as earning more money “.

Haugen worked as a product manager for Facebook’s civic disinformation team for almost two years before stepping down in May. Before leaving, she said she secretly copied tens of thousands of internal Facebook search pages, which she said provides evidence that the company has lied to the public about significant progress against hate, violence and disinformation.

Haugen handed over numerous documents to the Wall Street Journal, which published reports on the research that showed the company was aware of the harm it does to underage users. She also shared the internal research with Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, both of whom are on the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Health. data security. Haugen also filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Blumenthal, the chairman of the Senate subcommittee, lobbied Facebook’s global security chief last week over the internal research. “We now know that Facebook consistently puts profits above children’s online safety,” said Blumenthal.

Antigone Davis, Head of Global Security at Facebook, defended research, which Facebook posted in an annotated version last week. The slideshows included headlines like “We make body image problems worse for 1 in 3 teenage girls,” and they showed that a significant percentage of underage users were exposed to negative experiences on Facebook and Instagram.

In a statement to “60 minutes“, Facebook said,“ Every day, our teams must strike a balance between protecting the right of billions of people to speak out, and the need to make our platform a safe and positive place. We continue to make significant improvements to combat the spread of disinformation and harmful content. To suggest that we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true. “

The testimonial comes a day after Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp in the world failures suffered for more than six hours. Facebook fell along with other big tech stocks on Monday, slipping nearly 5%, and Forbes reported that Mark Zuckerberg alone had lost nearly $ 6 billion.

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