US Congress Moves Against Facebook

Wednesday, 6 October, 2021 - 00:23
Facebook receives a blow in the US Congress, as Frances Haugen, former Facebook official, reveals the number of children's accounts on the site.

Following a succession of damaging disclosures about the firm, a Facebook whistleblower who expressed concerns about numerous of the company's business operations testified before Congress on Tuesday.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook project manager who leaked a vast collection of internal information to the Wall Street Journal, told a Senate subcommittee that Facebook "put their astronomical profits before people" and called on Congress to reign in the tech giant.

"We can have social media we enjoy, that connects us, without tearing our democracy apart, putting our children in danger, and sowing ethnic violence around the world," Haugen said.

The documents Haugen released revealed several explosive information about the company's growth strategies, including bids to market its products directly to children, documents highlighting the severity of the platform's public health misinformation crisis, and internal research that deemed its Instagram platform harmful to the mental health of young girls.

"The choices being made inside of Facebook are disastrous for our children, our public safety, or our privacy and for our democracy. And that is why we must demand Facebook to make changes," Haugen told senators on Tuesday.

Facebook hasn't explicitly rejected any of the Journal's reporting, but it has called the characterizations "misleading" and has strongly resisted them.

It is worth noting that on Monday Facebook and the platforms the social media giant acquired, Instagram and WhatsApp, were hit by a sudden massive outage that caused millions to lose access to Facebook's apps and products.