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US: MPs and senators blast Facebook – Call for investigation into Haugen's allegations

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US: MPs and senators blast Facebook - Call for investigation into Haugen's allegations

U.S. lawmakers and senators from both parties blasted Facebook today, accusing co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg of pushing for higher profits while ignoring user safety and urging regulators to investigate the allegations. public interest Francis Haugen that the social media company harms children and causes divisions.

A day after unprecedented damage to Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, two social networking sites and two messaging apps of the California giant shutting them down for hours, Haugen, former product manager on Facebook's misinformation team, “For more than five hours, Facebook has not been used to deepen divisions, destabilize democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies,” he told a congressional hearing.

At a time when cross-party cooperation is rare in the Capitol, lawmakers from both parties agreed on the need for major changes to Facebook.

In his inaugural address to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee, Republican Sen. Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the subcommittee, said Facebook knew its products were addictive, like cigarettes. “Technology is now facing the revealing moment of truth,” he said.

He asked Zuckerberg to testify before the subcommittee and the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the company.

“Our children are the victims. Teenagers today look in the mirror and feel doubt and insecurity. “Mark Zuckerberg should look in the mirror,” said Blumenthal, adding that instead the president and CEO of the company went sailing.

Haugen said Facebook sought to keep its activities confidential.

“Today, no regulator has a list of solutions on how to fix Facebook because Facebook did not want to know enough about what is causing the problems. “Otherwise, there would be no need for a public interest witness,” he said.

Leading Republican subcommittee Marsa Blackburn said Facebook turned a blind eye to children under the age of 13 on its websites. “It is clear that Facebook prioritizes profit over the well-being of children and all users.”

For his part, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey stressed that Facebook's time to “invade our privacy and exploit children is over. “Congress will take action.”

“When they allowed 99% of violent content to remain unchecked on their platform, including those that led to the January 6 uprising, what did they do? “We now know that Mark Zuckerberg was going sailing,” said Democratic Sen. Amy Klobusar.

“Children in America are addicted to their product. “There is cynical knowledge on the part of these Big Tech companies that this is true,” said Republican Sen. Roger Walker.

Facebook spokesman Kevin McAllister said in an email before the committee meeting that the company considered protecting its community more important than maximizing its profits, and said it was not accurate that an internal leak showed that Instagram was ” toxic “for teenage girls.

Haugen is the source of the data that supported the research published by the Wall Street Journal in mid-September on Instagram and its effects on the mental health of teenagers, while on Sunday in an interview with CBS he directly accused Facebook of choosing “the profit for security ”and social responsibility.

The investigation showed that the company contributed to the increase in online polarization when it made changes to the content algorithm, took no action to curb vaccination rhetoric, knew that Instagram was harming girls' mental health, and did not take adequate measures to prevent its use. FB by people who plan violent actions.

Source: politis.com.cy

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