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Blumenthal Statement Following 60 Minutes Interview With Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen

This Tuesday, Blumenthal will chair a hearing in the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee with Haugen about Facebook and Instagram’s impacts on young users and other pressing issues

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) issued the following statement after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared on 60 Minutes. Haugen has been cooperating with Blumenthal’s office and informed reporting in the Wall Street Journal. As Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, Blumenthal will convene a hearing this Tuesday to hear from Haugen about Facebook’s knowledge of its platforms’ negative impact on young users and other pressing issues.

“Like so many, I was deeply moved by Frances Haugen, who proved courageous, credible and compelling on 60 Minutes. From her first visit with my office, I have admired her backbone and bravery in revealing terrible truths about one of the world’s most powerful, implacable corporate giants. We now know about Facebook’s destructive harms to kids—harms that Facebook concealed and knowingly exploited to increase profits—because of documents Frances revealed. Those documents show Facebook’s raw greed in dragging children to dark places and deepening insecurities, leading to online bullying, eating disorders, self-injury, even suicide. Frances has shown the world that the company is using Big Tobacco’s playbook, cruelly and cravenly seeking to make more money from addictive harms to our children, while suppressing disclosure of what it knew. Her truth, spoken clearly and straightforwardly, confirms Facebook own researchers’ searing indictment.”

“I look forward to Frances’ testimony on Tuesday before my subcommittee, and to future hearings documenting why Facebook and other tech companies must be held accountable—and how we plan to do that. Facebook’s actions make clear that we cannot trust it to police itself. We must consider stronger oversight, effective protections for children, and tools for parents, among the needed reforms.”