Facebook is aggressively defending itself and questioning the credibility of a former employee, after she leveled serious allegations against the social media giant, sharing on Capitol Hill how Facebook puts profits over user safety.
The concerns raised on Tuesday are issues parents grapple with, questioning when they should be exposing their kids to social media and at what age.
A former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, is calling for lawmakers to regulate the tech giant. As she described to a Senate committee how dangerous she believes the social network has become.
"The company's leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer won't make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people," testified Haugen.
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Some of the claims shared to Congress about internal Facebook research shares how the company knows its Instagram app can contribute to eating disorders in teen girls.
"You start liking certain things so then you see more of those images, or those topics so you might not even know what you're taking in subconsciously you start having just these ideas," said Shay Glevy, a San Diego mom and pediatric nurse.
Glevy says while she and her husband tried their best to handle how and when their kids had access to social media, she notes how local emergency rooms are seeing children come in with emotional issues.
"It’s a lot to do with this dysmorphia or what they are seeing and getting subconsciously put into their minds and we’re seeing it as a reality in our hospitals with our mental units being over, just packed," said Glevy.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a long response to the criticism he is now facing in a memo in part saying: "I've spent a lot of time reflecting on the kinds of experiences I want my kids and others to have online and it's very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for kids."
Some lawmakers on the committee are now calling on Zuckerberg to testify before the panel. The CEO adamantly denying the social media giant prioritizes profits over the safety of its users. Both Facebook and the whistleblower, however, agree on regulation, saying it’s time for Congress to update the nation’s internet laws.