'I'll Fulfill My Civic Duty': Another Facebook Whistleblower Ready to Go Before Congress to Testify
During last week's congressional testimony, whistleblower Frances Haugen pointed the finger at Facebook for allegedly being in the know that the platform had inflicted harm on the mental health of teenagers, but didn't do much to prevent content promoting "hate and division".
Ex-Facebook data scientist Sophie Zhang has told CNN
that she is ready to testify against her former employer before Congress. Zhang went public with her criticism of the social networking giant
in September 2020.
In an interview with the US broadcaster on Sunday, Zhang said she was encouraged by the apparent bipartisan support for action on children's online protection, in the wake of congressional testimony by another Facebook whistleblower, Frances Haugen.
Shortly before the CNN
interview, Zhang tweeted
that she provided "detailed documentation regarding potential criminal violations to a US law enforcement agency".
When asked by the US broadcaster, Zhang did not elaborate on which agency she gave the documents to. An FBI spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, saying "the FBI does not generally confirm, deny, or otherwise comment on information or tips we may receive from the public".
Zhang's CNN interview was followed by her tweeting: "If Congress wishes for me to testify, I will fulfill my civic duty, as I've publicly stated for the past half year".
The woman was fired from Facebook in August 2020, after she posted a 7,800-word memo, in which Zhang detailed how the company allegedly failed to do enough to tackle hate and misinformation, especially in developing countries.
In the memo, Zhang reportedly wrote: "I have blood on my hands", insisting that she was officially being fired from Facebook over "poor performance".
Her interview with CNN came as Facebook said that it is planning to meet with former employee, Frances Haugen, over the latter's claim that the social network disregards the safety of its users.
Haugen argued in congressional testimony last week that the social networking giant was aware it had inflicted harm on the mental health of teenagers, but did not do much to stop content promoting "hate and division", as well as content that created a toxic environment for teenage girls.
5 October 2021, 16:13 GMT
She added that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
should be held accountable because "he holds more than 55 percent of all the voting shares for Facebook".
The social network insisted Haugen's accusations "don't make sense", with Zuckerberg stressing the company cares "deeply" about users' safety-related issues.