A Facebook whistleblower testified on Tuesday (5) to US congressmen to ask for regulation of the social networking giant, a day after the global blackout that billions of users exposed and exposed the world’s dependence on its services.
Former social networking employee Frances Haugen testified on Capitol Hill, after leaking to authorities and The Wall Street Journal a huge archive of internal investigations detailing how Facebook knew its sites were potentially harmful to young people’s mental health .
Haugen spoke to senators a day after Facebook, his Instagram photo app and WhatsApp messaging service went down for nearly seven hours, which affected “billions of users,” according to tracker Downdetector.
Haugen warned in a prepared speech about the risk of not creating new defenses for a platform that reveals little about how it works.
“I believe that Facebook products harm children, intensify division and weaken our democracy,” he said. “Congress needs to act. This crisis will not be resolved without your help.”
In his testimony, Haugen points out the danger of power in the hands of a service that has become necessary in the daily lives of so many people.
“The company intentionally hides critical information from users, the US government and governments around the world,” Haugen’s statement said. “The gravity of this crisis requires us to move away from our previous regulatory frameworks.”
Facebook has strongly opposed the outrage over its practices and their impact, but this is just the latest in a series of crises hitting the Silicon Valley giant.
For years, US lawmakers have threatened to regulate the businesses of Facebook and other social networking platforms to address criticism that tech giants invade privacy, serve as an amplifier and sounding board for dangerous information, and harm the well. being of the young.
After years of strong criticism of social media, without major legislative revisions, some experts were skeptical about the possibility of a change coming from Congress.
“It will have to come from the platforms, they will have to feel the pressure of their users and their employees,” said Mark Hass, a professor at Arizona State University, to AFP.
Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist from Iowa, has worked for companies like Google and Pinterest, but — in a Sunday interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” news program — she said Facebook is “substantially worse” than That’s everything you’ve ever seen.