October 24, 2021

Zuckerberg Mum as Facebook Spokesperson Refutes Whistleblower’s Testimony in Real Time

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone addressed Frances Haugen Tuesday on Twitter as the whistleblower testified earlier than the Senate Commerce Committee’s shopper safety subcommittee.

Stone wrote, “Simply mentioning the truth that @FrancesHaugen didn’t work on little one security or Instagram or analysis these points and has no direct information of the subject from her work at Facebook.”

He added in a follow-up tweet, “As she herself simply stated below oath, ‘I do not work on it.'”

Former Facebook worker Frances Haugen testifies Tuesday throughout a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation listening to titled “Defending Children On-line: Testimony From a Facebook Whistleblower.”
Getty Pictures

In the meantime, Facebook CEO and Chairman Mark Zuckerberg has to date remained silent on the damning claims Haugen made Tuesday about his firm. Even so, his title was invoked a number of occasions in the course of the listening to, not solely by Haugen however by the senators on the committee.

Senator Richard Blumenthal and different committee members additionally particularly referenced Zuckerberg’s latest social media posts displaying him crusing somewhat than showing earlier than the committee or addressing the allegations made in opposition to Facebook.

Latest experiences, which Haugen additionally addressed, accuse the corporate of knowingly focusing on youths. These experiences say that Facebook tried to court docket younger customers regardless of research displaying that Facebook, Instagram and different social media platforms can have deleterious results on younger individuals.

Requested by the committee if she felt that the corporate would proceed engaged on the Instagram program designed for youngsters, which is at present on pause, Haugen stated Tuesday, “I might be sincerely shocked if they don’t proceed engaged on Instagram Children, and I might be amazed if a yr from now we do not have this dialog once more.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar requested Haugen if teenagers are a few of Facebook’s most worthwhile customers. Haugen replied, “I am positive they’re a number of the extra worthwhile customers on Facebook, however I don’t work instantly on them.”

Stone highlighted Haugen’s response on Twitter by quoting her:

Committee member Marsha Blackburn later addressed Stone’s tweeting in the course of the listening to.

The Tennessee senator stated, “I’ll merely say this to Mr. Stone: If Facebook desires to debate their focusing on of kids, in the event that they wish to talk about their practices of privateness invasion or violations of the Kids’s On-line Privateness Safety Act, I’m extending to you an invite to step ahead, be sworn in and testify earlier than this committee.”

She added, “We’d be happy to listen to from you and welcome your testimony.”

Earlier than Haugen’s testimony, Facebook was already dealing with criticism following a sequence of articles and a podcast produced by The Wall Avenue Journal, “The Facebook Information,” which included particulars about how the corporate is learning methods to achieve younger customers, together with these below 13.

Moreover, 5Rights Basis—a gaggle centered on digital rights points for youngsters—revealed a report in July that confirmed youngsters as younger as 13 have been focused inside 24 hours of making a social media account with dangerous content material. Such content material included materials associated to consuming problems, sexualized imagery, physique shaming and suicide.

Newsweek contacted Facebook for additional remark however didn’t hear again earlier than publication.

Replace (10/5/21, 12:30 p.m. ET): This story has been up to date to incorporate an extra tweet from Facebook’s Andy Stone and extra background in regards to the listening to.

Replace (10/5/21, 1:05 p.m. ET): This story has been up to date to incorporate feedback from Senator Marsha Blackburn on Stone’s tweets.

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