October 5, 2021

Rollcall: Whistleblower testifies as lawmakers take aim at Facebook again

On Tuesday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is set to hear from Frances Haugen, a former Facebook manager turned whistleblower whose explosive leaks revealed the company’s attempts to target young children on Instagram — despite knowing the app leads some teen girls to consider suicide. Instagram is owned by Facebook.

Haugen, whose information was first published by The Wall Street Journal last month, revealed her identity by appearing Sunday on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.” She also has been speaking with lawmakers and charges that controls put in place on misinformation were quickly relaxed. That move helped lead to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, she says...

Consumer safety advocates who have dealt with social media companies are skeptical that Congress will act decisively by passing new regulations.

“Big Tech has a huge lobby, and we have seen it firsthand,” said Donna Rice Hughes, president of Enough Is Enough®, a nonprofit organization that promotes internet safety for children. Since the advent of the internet, Big Tech companies have argued that what makes the online world “beautiful is its open and free nature,” Hughes said in an interview...

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