Facebook Whistleblower Implores Congress To Step In And Regulate The Social Media Giant

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Facebook and its platforms Instagram and WhatsApp might be back up and running Tuesday night, but they’re not out of the woods yet. On Tuesday, the Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen delivered scathing testimony before a senate committee. The former Facebook employee called on congress to take action, saying the buck stops with Mark Zuckerberg. She says a safer internet is still possible.

37-year-old Haugen, who worked as a Facebook product manager and on civic integrity issues at the company, is asking the government to take action. She says, “The fact that Facebook has walled off the ability to see even basic things about how the platform performs or in the case of their past academic research, releasing inaccurate data, or not being clear about how they pulled that data is just part of a pattern of behavior of Facebook hiding behind walls and operating in the shadows. They have far too much power in our society to be allowed to continue to operate that way.”

Facebook’s communications spokesman Andy Stone tweeted in the company’s defense Tuesday saying, “Just pointing out the fact that Frances Haugen did not work on child safety or Instagram or research these issues and has no direct knowledge of the topic from her work at Facebook.”

Nevertheless, Haugen released tens of thousands of pages of internal research and documents indicating Facebook was aware of various problems caused by its apps, including Instagram’s potential “toxic” effect on teen girls. The committee applauded her for coming forward.

Our question of the night: do you think the government needs to regulate Facebook?

This episode’s panel features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB News @ Ten anchor Drew Bollea
WCCB TV’s Kelli Bartik