Blackburn Asks Whistleblower To Detail Facebook’s Practice Of Endangering Children Online

October 5, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, questioned Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for answers on Facebook’s disregard for children’s online safety.

View opening remarks here.

Facebook Knows They Are Guilty
“Last week, we heard from Ms. Davis who heads global safety for Facebook. It was surprising to us that what she tried to do was to minimize the information that was in these documents, to minimize the research, and to minimize the knowledge that Facebook had. At one point, I even reminded her, the research was not third party research. The research was there, Facebook's internal research. They knew what they were doing. They knew where the violations were, and they know they are guilty. They know this because their research tells them this.”
Profits, Not Youth Safety, Drive Facebook’s Decisionmaking
“Facebook addiction, which Facebook calls conveniently ‘problematic use’ is most severe in teens peaking at age 14. Here's what else we know, Facebook is not interested in making significant changes to improve kids' safety on their platforms — at least not when that would result in losing eyeballs on posts or decreasing their ad revenues. In fact, Facebook is running scared as they know that in their own words, young adults are less active and less engaged on Facebook and that they are running out of teens to add to Instagram…Facebook is only making those changes that add to its users, numbers, and ultimately its profits.”
Facebook Turns A Blind Eye To Human Trafficking And Cartel Activity 
“Facebook also turned a blind eye toward blatant human exploitation taking place on its platform — trafficking, forced labor cartels, the worst possible things one can imagine. Big Tech companies have gotten away with abusing consumers for too long. It is clear that Facebook prioritizes profit over the wellbeing of children — and all users. So as a mother and a grandmother, this is an issue that is of particular concern to me.”