Frances Haugen, 37, a former Facebook product manager who worked on civil integrity issues at the company, faced questions from a commerce subcommittee on what Facebook-owned Instagram knew about its effects on young users, among other issues. .
“I am here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children, promote division and undermine our democracy,” he said in his inaugural address. “The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safe, but they won’t make the necessary changes because they put their astronomical advantage before the people. Congress needs action. They can’t solve this crisis without your help.” will do.”
She stressed that she came forward “at great personal risk” because she believes “we still have time to act. But we must act now.”
“When we realized that tobacco companies were hiding the harm it caused, the government acted,” she said in her opening remarks. “When we found out that cars with seat belts are safe, the government took action. And today, the government is taking action against companies that hide evidence on opioids. I beg you here to do the same.” “
From outage to outrage
In his testimony, Haugen said, “Yesterday, we took Facebook off the Internet. I don’t know why it went down, but I do know that using Facebook for more than 5 hours can deepen division, destroy democracy.” Wasn’t meant to destabilize, and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies.”
She continued: “It also means that millions of small businesses haven’t been able to reach potential customers and countless photos of new babies around the world are not happily celebrated by family and friends. I believe in the potential of Facebook. We can It’s the social media we enjoy that connects us without breaking our democracy, endangering our children, and sowing ethnic violence around the world. We can do better.”
Senator says Facebook issues ‘will haunt a generation’
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, expressed “heartfelt gratitude” to Haugen for “standing up to one of the most powerful, irrepressible corporate giants in the history of the world.”
He continued: “The selfishness and damage to self-worth done by Facebook today will haunt a generation.”
“Facebook’s actions make it clear that we cannot rely on the police ourselves,” Blumenthal said in a statement on Sunday. “We should consider stronger oversight, effective protection for children and tools for parents, among the improvements we need.”
National security concerns — and future hearings
During his testimony, Haugen said, “Congress can change the rules of Facebook and prevent many of the damages that are happening now.”
Haugen, whose last role at Facebook was as product manager supporting the company’s counter-espionage team, was asked by a senator whether Facebook is used by “authoritarian or terrorist-based leaders” around the world. She said such use of platforms is “definitely” happening, and Facebook is “very aware” of it.
“My team worked directly on tracking Chinese participation on the platform, surveying the Uighur population in locations around the world. You can actually find Chinese people doing this kind of work,” Haugen said. “We also saw the active involvement of the Iranian government spying on other state actors.”
She called Facebook’s “constant understanding” of counter-espionage and counter-terrorism teams a “national security issue”.
“I have serious national security concerns about how Facebook works today,” Haugen said.
His comments on national security indicated what could lie ahead for Congress to investigate based on internal document leaks. Haugen said she already plans to talk to other parts of Congress about those concerns, and Blumenthal suggested that Facebook’s impact on national security be the subject of a future subcommittee hearing with Haugen. could.
Credit : www.cnn.com