Francis Hausen, a former Facebook employee, testifies during the Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security hearing at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee, titled Children’s Online Safety-Facebook Whistleblower, Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Tom Williams CQ-Roll Call, Inc. Getty Images
LONDON – Facebook’s Whistleblower who leaked insider research has shown that Instagram can be harmful to teens ready to testify in Europe.
At the height of his presence in Congress, Frances Hausen is now ready to present evidence to lawmakers in the British Parliament, a statement released Monday said.
The statement said he would appear before a parliamentary committee on October 25 to testify for the first time in Europe.
Hausen, a former Facebook product manager, told a Senate panel last week that the company’s leadership prioritizes “profit in front of the people” and called on lawmakers to intervene.
This comes after Whistleblower’s internal Facebook studies were leaked to the Wall Street Journal, where the company found its Instagram app harmful to teenage girls.
Over the weekend, Facebook chief spokesman Nick Clegg said the social media firm would encourage teens to stay away from harmful content and encourage users to take “breaks” to spend more time on Instagram.
“Companies like Facebook need to be more transparent about their decisions when they turn off user safety for user involvement,” said Damien Collins, a British MP and chairman of the joint committee on the government’s online security bill.
Collins made a name for himself in 2018, when he took charge of Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal in a series of parliamentary hearings.
The UK government is now introducing new legislation that will make digital giants responsible for monitoring and taking action on illegal or malicious content online. Failure to do so could result in a fine of 10% of the annual global revenue or £ 18 million ($ 24 million), whichever is higher.
Meanwhile, European Union lawmakers have invited Hagen to appear at a whistleblower hearing on tech November technology, although it is not yet clear whether he has accepted their request.
Anna Cavazini, president of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Markets and Consumer Protection, said in a statement on Monday that whistleblowers like Frances Hausen see an urgent need to set democratic rules for the online world in the interests of users.
“His revelations reveal the underlying conflict between the business model of the platform and the interests of users.”
The European Union has its own plans to control big tech. The bloc is working to introduce two landmark laws – the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act – that are designed to stop toxic content and increase competition.