Frances Haugen, a 37-year-old former Facebook product manager who worked on civic integrity issues at the company, will face questions from a Senate Commerce subcommittee about what Facebook-owned Instagram knew about its effects on young users, among other issues.
In her prepared testimony obtained by CNN Monday ahead of her appearance, Haugen said, “I believe what I did was right and necessary for the common good — but I know Facebook has infinite resources, which it could use to destroy me.”
Haugen added: “I came forward because I recognized a frightening truth: almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook.”
“When we realized tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action,” she said in the prepared remarks. “When we figured out cars were safer with seat belts, the government took action. And today, the government is taking action against companies that hid evidence on opioids. I implore you to do the same here.”
She added that Facebook’s leadership “won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people.”
Facebook declined to comment on the prepared testimony. In a statement sent to CNN Business after the “60 Minutes” interview, a Facebook spokesperson said, “to suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true.”
“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,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection, said in a statement Sunday after the “60 Minutes” segment aired. “We now know about Facebook’s destructive harms to kids … because of documents Frances revealed.
“Facebook’s actions make clear that we cannot trust it to police itself,” Blumenthal said in the statement Sunday. “We must consider stronger oversight, effective protections for children, and tools for parents, among the needed reforms.”