On Tuesday, Fb whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared earlier than a Senate Commerce Committee subcommittee in probably the most important hearings for the corporate over the previous few years.
Haugen’s testimony adopted bombshell reporting from the Wall Avenue Journal final month that detailed the methods through which Fb’s merchandise can inflict hurt on customers. The Journal tales have been primarily based on a collection of inner reviews at Fb that Haugen leaked to the newspaper. One particular set of reviews steered that Fb knew Instagram was “toxic” for teenage customers, particularly younger women.
“Facebook has put profits ahead of people,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) stated on Tuesday. “I hope we will discuss whether there is such a thing as a safe algorithm.”
All through her testimony, Haugen painted an image of Fb as each “internally dysfunctional” and unwilling to alter its behaviors except Congress, or some exterior regulatory authority, determined to step in.
“It is unaccountable until the incentives change,” Haugen stated. “Facebook will not change.”
On the finish of the listening to, lawmakers appeared desperate to act and decided to go laws addressing the harms Fb’s algorithms may cause.
“Here’s my message for Mark Zuckerberg: Your time of invading our privacy, promoting toxic content, and preying on children and teens is over,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) stated at Tuesday’s listening to. “Congress will be taking action. You can work with us or not work with us, but we will not allow your company to harm our children and our families and our democracies any longer.”