Several years ago, a former Facebook employee named Frances Haugen released troves of internal company documents that revealed it was aware of the harmful effects it was having on young users. Those disclosures in large part led 41 states to recently sue Facebook for privacy and safety issues. And now, yet another whistleblower has come forward to back up Haugen’s claims, alleging that Facebook knew about the harmful experiences young users were having on Instagram while doing little to address the problem.
This latest whistleblower, Arturo Bejar, is a former Facebook employee and consultant for Instagram. He said that he tried to sound the alarm about these risks, but Facebook didn’t listen. And now, he has shared what he knows with lawmakers, and is scheduled to testify before a Senate committee this week.
“We now know that Mark Zuckerberg, Adam Mosseri, and other Meta executives were personally warned that millions of teens face bullying, eating disorder material, illicit drugs, and sexual exploitation, often within minutes of opening the app,” Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal said in a statement. “Rather than address these deadly harms, Facebook continued to hide this information from the public and Congressional oversight, ignored recommendations to protect teens, rolled back safety tools, and dismantled teams responsible for kids’ safety.”
With lawsuits piling up and former employees coming out of the woodwork to slam Facebook, it’s clear the company could soon be in a world of trouble for its past privacy and safety practices.
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