The Facebook whistleblower who released tens of thousands of pages of internal research and documents indicating the company was aware of various problems caused by its apps, including Instagram’s potential “toxic” effect on teen girls, is set to testify at a Senate hearing today.
Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old former Facebook product manager who worked on civic integrity issues at the company, will face questions from a Senate Commerce subcommittee about what Facebook-owned Instagram knew about its effects on young users, among other issues.
In her prepared testimony obtained by CNN Monday ahead of her appearance, Haugen said, “I believe what I did was right and necessary for the common good — but I know Facebook has infinite resources, which it could use to destroy me.”
Haugen added: “I came forward because I recognized a frightening truth: almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook.”
Haugen’s identity as the Facebook whistleblower was revealed on “60 Minutes” Sunday night. She previously shared a series of documents with regulators and the Wall Street Journal, which published a multi-part investigation showing that Facebook was aware of problems with its apps, including the negative effects of misinformation and the harm caused by Instagram, especially to young girls.
Some background: About a month ago, Haugen filed at least eight complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the company is hiding research about its shortcomings from investors and the public. She also shared the documents with the Wall Street Journal, which published a multi-part investigation showing that Facebook was aware of problems with its apps, including the negative effects of misinformation and the harm caused, especially to young girls, by Instagram.
Facebook has aggressively pushed back against the reports, calling many of the claims “misleading” and arguing that its apps do more good than harm.
Read more about Haugen’s testimony here.
Watch the interview: