Facebook harms children and weakens democracy, ex-employee said

Former Facebook employee Frances Haugen. Source: Yahoo News
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Daily US Times: A former employee of Facebook has told US lawmakers that the company’s apps and websites “harm children, stoke division and weaken our democracy”

Frances Haugen heavily criticised the company at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Facebook has faced increasing calls for its regulation as well as growing scrutiny.

The co-founder of the social media giant, Mark Zuckerberg, hits back, saying recent coverage painted a “false picture” of the company.

In a letter to staff, Mr Zuckerburg said many of the claims “don’t make any sense”, pointing to their efforts in establishing transparency, fighting harmful content, and creating “an industry-leading research program to under these important issues”.

The letter was made public on his Facebook page. It added: “We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health. It’s difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives.”

Facebook is the world’s most popular social media network with 2.7 billion monthly active users. Hundreds of millions of people also use the company’s other products, including Instagram and WhatsApp.

But the company has been criticised for everything from failing to protect users’ privacy to not doing enough to halt the spread of disinformation.

The 37-year-old former product manager turned whistleblower told CBS News on Sunday and had shared a number of internal Facebook documents with the Wall Street Journal in recent weeks.

Using the documents, the Wall Street Journal reported that research carried out by Instagram showed the app could harm girls’ mental health.

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