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Thursday, 27 January 2022
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Former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, heavily criticises the company

Former Facebook employee, Frances Haugen, heavily criticises the company
Facebook-Social Media-Mobile/Pixabay

A former Facebook employee has told US lawmakers that the company's sites and apps "harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy".


The BBC reported, Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old former product manager turned whistleblower, heavily criticised the company at a hearing on Capitol Hill.


It said, Ms Haugen told CBS News on Sunday that she had shared a number of internal Facebook documents with the Wall Street Journal in recent weeks.


Using the documents, the WSJ reported that research carried out by Instagram showed the app could harm girls' mental health.


This was a theme Ms Haugen continued during her testimony on Tuesday.



She said: "The company's leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people."


She criticised Mark Zuckerberg for having wide-ranging control, saying that there is "no one currently holding Mark accountable but himself."


Read more: Mark Zuckerberg apologises for the ‘disruption’ of social media services


And she praised the massive outage of Facebook services on Monday, which affected users around the world.


"Yesterday we saw Facebook taken off the internet," she said. "I don't know why it went down, but I know that for more than five hours, Facebook wasn't used to deepen divides, destabilise democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies."


The answer, she told senators, was congressional oversight. "We must act now," she said.


Read more: Facebook battles global outage and whistleblower revelations


In a statement issued after the hearing, Facebook said it did not agree with Ms Haugen's "characterisation of the many issues she testified about". But it did agree that "it's time to begin to create standard rules for the internet."


The statement said: "It's been 25 years since the rules for the internet have been updated, and instead of expecting the industry to make societal decisions that belong to legislators, it is time for Congress to act."


Source: BBC

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