The Facebook Hearings Did Not Go Well Facebook As Lawmakers Want To #DeleteFacebook

U.S. lawmakers absolutely pounded Facebook today accusing CEO Mark Zuckerberg of pushing for higher profits while being cavalier about user safety and they demanded regulators investigate whistleblower accusations that the social media company harms children and stokes divisions.

Coming a day after Facebook and its units including Instagram suffered a major outage, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified in a congressional hearing that “for more than five hours Facebook wasn’t used to deepen divides, destabilize democracies and make young girls and women feel bad about their bodies.” In an era when bipartisanship is rare on Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both parties excoriated the nearly $1 trillion company in a hearing that exemplified the rising anger in Congress with Facebook amid numerous demands for legislative reforms.

As lawmakers criticized Facebook and Zuckerberg, the company’s spokespeople fought back on Twitter, arguing Haugen did not work directly on some of the issues she was being questioned on. Senate Commerce subcommittee chair Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said Facebook knew that its products were addictive, like cigarettes. “Tech now faces that big tobacco jawdropping moment of truth,” he said. He called for Zuckerberg to testify before the committee, and for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Trade Commission to investigate the company. “Our children are the ones who are victims. Teens today looking in the mirror feel doubt and insecurity. Mark Zuckerberg ought to be looking at himself in the mirror,” Blumenthal said, adding that Zuckerberg instead was going sailing.

Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team who has turned whistleblower, said Facebook has sought to keep its operations confidential. “Today, no regulator has a menu of solutions for how to fix Facebook, because Facebook didn’t want them to know enough about what’s causing the problems. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been need for a whistleblower,” she said. The top Republican on the subcommittee, Marsha Blackburn, said that Facebook turned a blind eye to children below age 13 on its sites. “It is clear that Facebook prioritizes profit over the well-being of children and all users.”

I also watched Facebook employees try to trash the reputation of Haugen on Twitter today. And there’s only one reason why they would do that: Facebook is scared. This could be their day of reckoning as in my opinion, there’s more than enough out there for Facebook to be in very serious trouble. The question is, will lawmakers and the relevant law enforcement agencies hold Zuckerberg and his lackeys accountable?

Fun fact: This continues tomorrow. That should be fun.

One Response to “The Facebook Hearings Did Not Go Well Facebook As Lawmakers Want To #DeleteFacebook”

  1. […] two major outages in one week will shake Facebook users faith in the platform. That on top of their other problems that Facebook has at the moment. It will be interesting to see this one play out and what Facebook […]

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