Frances Hogan, the “mole” who revealed Facebook’s secrets, has taken her accusation to Congress. In an expected hearing at the Senate Commerce Subcommittee, the group’s former CEO, who was appointed to control election misinformation, said the company consistently preferred profit over security and user rights. , inspired by a culture that hides important information and data about its practices from regulators. The hearing focused primarily on the risks to young people and children.
fortress of secrets
Facebook is “hiding behind walls that prevent researchers and regulators from understanding the true dynamics of the system. We simply have to believe what Facebook says and they have shown time and time again that they do not deserve our blind trust,” Haugen said. Once again: the company will continue to put its “astronomical profits first” in the absence of “necessary congressional intervention”.
The accusations reverberated among senators of both parties. Democratic leader Richard Blumenthal has demanded that the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission begin investigations based on documents and inside information provided by Haugen. He indicated that he intends to ask founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify, after he remained silent in the face of the controversy by assigning spokespersons and other executives to defend the company. The 38-second video clip, which he filmed on Sunday, already in the midst of controversy, aboard a sailboat caused quite a stir. Republican Senator Marcia Blackburn, in turn, noted that Facebook “knows he’s guilty.”
Blumenthal spoke openly about his “tobacco moment” on Facebook, in parallel with investigations against cigarette giants for deceiving the country about the toxic and carcinogenic effects of smoking that led to profound changes in the sector. He said, “It’s time for reckoning.” However, the spotlight remained mainly on Haugen. He stressed that Facebook “has deceived the public over and over again” when it comes to the safety of young people in particular, the accuracy of artificial intelligence systems and the dissemination of extremist and violent content. The former CEO also admitted how difficult it is to regulate Facebook today because of its secrecy: “Being unable to look at actual Facebook systems and confirm that they work as described is the equivalent of the Department of Transportation responsible for regulating only cars. They pass on the street.”
Documents uncovered by “Mole” and shared with Congress show how the company’s research, which has been kept secret, has shown serious harms to youngsters in particular, including depression and suicidal tendencies among girls. In particular, on the dock is Instagram, which Haugen revealed on the basis of research to be more dangerous than competing applications, such as TikTok, because it focuses on the comparison of lifestyles and the physical image.
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