'Buck Stops With Mark': No One Holding Zuckerberg Accountable, Facebook Whistleblower Tells Senate

© AFP 2023 / DREW ANGERERFormer Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Capitol Hill, October 5, 2021, in Washington, DC.
Former Facebook employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies before a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on Capitol Hill, October 5, 2021, in Washington, DC.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.10.2021
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen publicly revealed her identity on the investigative TV show '60 Minutes' on Monday. Shortly after the interview, Facebook suffered a blackout lasting longer than six hours that also disrupted some of its other services, including Instagram and WhatsApp.
"Mark holds a very unique role in the tech industry, he holds more than 55 percent of all the voting shares for Facebook. In the end, the buck stops with Mark. There is no one currently holding Mark accountable but himself," former Facebook product manager and whistleblower Frances Haugen said in congressional testimony on Tuesday.
Haugen testified to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, where she accused Facebook of being aware that Instagram is apparently harming some teenagers and that it has been dishonest in its public fight against hate and misinformation.
"The company's leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer but won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people. Congressional action is needed. They won't solve this crisis without your help."
According to Haugen: "The company intentionally hides vital information from the public, from the US government, and from governments around the world."
"The documents I have provided to Congress prove that Facebook has repeatedly misled the public about what its own research reveals about the safety of children, the efficacy of its artificial intelligence systems and its role in spreading divisive and extreme messages."
 Frances Haugen, former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, arrives to testify before a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security hearing to examine Facebook's practices, on Capitol Hill on October 05, 2021 in Washington, DC.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.10.2021
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During her testimony Haugen said that Facebook did not do much to prevent content promoting "hate and division" or that created a toxic environment for teenage girls.
The whistleblower then suggested that a shortage of staff at Facebook prevents the social media giant from tackling known threats.

“A pattern of behaviour that I saw at Facebook was that often problems were so understaffed there was kind of an implicit discouragement from having better detection systems,” Haugen told the US Senate. “For example, my last team at Facebook was on the Counter-Espionage team within the Threat Intelligence work, and at any given time, our team could only handle a third of the cases that we knew about. We knew that if we built even a basic detector, we would probably have many more cases."

Over the past several weeks, Haugen has revealed thousands of documents suggesting Facebook has hidden evidence and lied about its platform spreading what she described as "harmful information". Documents shared by Haugen reveal that Facebook was allegedly aware that its social media platform caused the mental health of teenagers harm.
The Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection is looking into Facebook’s use of information from its own researchers on Instagram that could indicate potential harm for some of its young users. According to the research leaked by Haugen, some of the peer pressure has forced some teens to have mental health and body-image problems, as well as eating disorders and suicidal thoughts.
Separately on Monday, Facebook and its family of apps - Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, were hit by the worst blackout in the company's history.
In this Oct. 23, 2019, file photo, Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington.  Facebook's quasi-independent oversight board last week said the company was justified in suspending Trump because of his role in inciting deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.10.2021
Zuckerberg Apologizes for Facebook, WhatsApp Disruption, Says Services Coming Back Online
The apps started working again several hours later, with the Facebook recovery team saying the outage was caused by a border gateway protocol update.
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