Facebook Under Scrutiny

Whistleblower claims they put profits before safety


On Thursday, September 30, 2021, Facebook and Instagram were placed under scrutiny at a Congressional hearing about the negative effects that the company has had on teenagers. “[The company] has hidden its own research on addiction and the toxic effects of its products,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said. On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, went before a Senate Commerce subcommittee to share internal documents regarding a variety of misinformation issues. These issues included mental health and child safety, and misinformation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic.

The accusations against Facebook arose after a series of articles were released by the Wall Street Journal. The articles take a deep dive into the history of Facebook’s misinformation and harmful effects, specifically on teenage girls and body image. The expose also addressed how the company had been working to increase their appeal to preteens. This occured after they had conducted internal research about the negative mental health effects Instagram was having on teenagers. All of this has led up to the hearings that are calling for regulations to be placed on Facebook and Instagram.