Facebook is having one eventful week. Yesterday a major outage hit all Facebook-owned services. Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus were all down worldwide for users for almost six hours. (Facebook says the outage was due to a router configuration error).
But today, Facebook is up against an even bigger challenge. Whistleblower Frances Haugen will give her testimony in front of a Senate panel this morning regarding what she says is Facebook’s negative impact on children, democracy, and the social fabric. The Washington Post has published Haugen’s prepared statement to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, in which she will say:
- Facebook has consistently chosen its own profits over user safety, resulting in Facebook amplifying “division, extremism, and polarization—and undermining societies around the world.
- Facebook’s profit optimizing machine is generating self-harm and self-hate—especially for vulnerable groups, like teenage girls.
- As long as Facebook is operating in the dark, it is accountable to no one. And it will continue to make choices that go against the common good.
- Facebook wants you to believe that the problems we’re talking about are unsolvable. They want you to believe in false choices . . . I am here to tell you today that’s not true.
Haugen will also call for regulation on Facebook, including the ability for independent researchers to transparently look into Facebook’s actual systems. After Haugen’s prepared remarks she will field questions from the Senate committee.
Here’s how to watch Frances Haugen’s testimony today live as it happens:
- What: Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security.
- When: Tuesday, October 5 at 10 a.m. EDT
- How to watch online: the event will be livestreamed today on the committee hearing page here.