Facebook whistleblower reveals identity ahead of US Senate hearing

Sheila Dang, Reuters

Posted at Oct 04 2021 08:29 AM

A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/Illustration//File Photo/File Photo
A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/Illustration//File Photo/File Photo

A former Facebook Inc employee revealed herself on Sunday as the whistleblower who leaked a trove of internal company research that served as the basis of a Wall Street Journal investigative series.

The leak led to a Senate hearing and a new wave of criticism over the negative impact of the social media giant's apps.

Frances Haugen appeared on Sunday on the television program "60 Minutes." She will testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday in a hearing titled "Protecting Kids Online," about the company's research into Instagram's effect on the mental health of young users.

Last week, a Facebook executive testified to US senators and disputed the Journal's characterization of the research, pointing out other findings that she said showed the app's positive impact on teens.

Haugen was a product manager at Facebook for more than two years, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also worked as a product manager at Google, Pinterest and Yelp.

Haugen said she'd seen problems at other social media companies, but "it was substantially worse at Facebook than anything I'd seen before." 

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