October 18, 2021

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Facebook Whistleblower to Congress: Regulate Tech. Silicon Valley Can’t Be Trusted to Police Itself

2 min read

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified to Congress Tuesday, denouncing the company for prioritizing “astronomical profits” over the safety of billions of users, and urging lawmakers to enact strict oversight over Facebook. Haugen’s testimony gave a rare glimpse into the secretive tech company, which she accused of harming children, sowing division by boosting hateful content, and undermining democracy. “Facebook wants you to believe that the problems we’re talking about are unsolvable. They want you to believe in false choices,” Haugen said at the hearing. Roger McNamee, a former mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, says a U.S. business culture “where CEOs are told to prioritize shareholder value at all cost” is partly to blame for Facebook’s design. “We have abdicated too much power to corporations. We have essentially said we’re not going to regulate them.” We also speak with tech reform activist Jessica González, who says Haugen’s testimony has exposed how little Facebook regulates its platform outside the English-speaking world. “Facebook has not adequately invested to keep people safe across languages,” says González. “There is a very racist element to the lack of investment.”

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