Facebook whistleblower who has released files that prove social media giant KNOWS it is toxic to its users will reveal her identity on 60 Minutes
- Facebook whistleblower will reveal her identity on CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday
- She released files proving the social media company knew it was toxic for users
- She agreed to testify before Congress after filing a complaint against Facebook
- Facebook will send its global head of safety to also testify before the committee
The Facebook whistleblower who released files that prove the social media giant knows it is toxic to its users is set to reveal her identity on CBS’s 60 minutes on Sunday.
The former employee leaked the notorious ‘Facebook Files’ including tens of thousands of pages of internal company documents that revealed the firm was aware Instagram could be harmful to teenage girls.
They also show the social media giant, which has long had to answer to Congress on how its platform is used, continued to rollout additions to Instagram that propagated the harm, even though executives were aware of the issue.
The whistleblower filed the complaints against Facebook anonymously last month and has agreed to testify in front of Congress before the end of 2021.
The social media giant confirmed that Antigone Davis, its global head of safety, would also testify before the Senate Commerce Committee Consumer protection panel.
The Facebook whistleblower who released files that prove the social media giant knows it is toxic to its users is set to reveal her identity on CBS’s 60 minutes on Sunday
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before a senate committee last November on the companies practices. The social media giant continues to be scrutinized by Congress
According to the documents given to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook had known for two years that Instagram was toxic for young girls but continued to add beauty-editing filters to the app, despite six per cent of suicidal girls in America blaming it for their desire to kill themselves.
When Facebook researches first alerted the company of the issue in 2019, they said: ‘We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls.’
‘Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression. This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.’
One message posted on an internal message board in March 2020 said the app revealed that 32 per cent of girls said Instagram made them feel worse about their bodies if they were already having insecurities.
About one in five said the app made them feel worse about themselves.
Research showed one in five teens said that Instagram made them feel worse about themselves
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been quiet in the past about the issues the app is blamed for causing among young girls.
He told Congress in March 2021 that Instagram has ‘positive mental-health benefits’.
Instagram has a ‘parental guide’ which teaches parents how to monitor their kids’ accounts by enabling features like screen time limits and who can comment on posts, but there’s no way to verify someone’s age before they join the site.
Instagram claims it only accepts users aged 13 and over but says many lie about it when they join.
Forty percent of Instagram’s 1 billion monthly users are under the age of 22 and just over half are female.
Instagram also does not flag any photograph or image that may have been distorted or manipulated, despite flagging materials it deems to contain misinformation, political posts or paid advertising.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who sits on the Senate committee, told the Journal that Facebook’s answers were vague which raised questions that it was deliberately hiding the research.
‘Facebook’s answers were so evasive – failing to respond to all our questions – that they really raise questions about what Facebook might be hiding.
‘Facebook seems to be taking a page from the textbook of Big Tobacco – targeting teens with potentially dangerous products while masking the science in public.’
In the letter, the company also said it kept the research ‘confidential to promote frank and open dialogue and brainstorming internally.’
Blumenthal added that the committee will also meet with representatives from YouTube and Snapchat to testify about their products affect kids as Congress moves to rein in and understand social medias growing influence among children, the Washington Post reported.
The interview will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday, October 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on CBS.
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