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The Facebook whistleblower behind a significant leak is going to testify in Europe

The Facebook whistleblower behind a significant leak is going to testify in Europe

October 13, 2021: -The Facebook whistleblower who leaked internal company research showing that Instagram can be harmful to teens is set to testify in Europe.

On Monday, Hot on the heels of her appearance in Congress, Frances Haugen is set to give evidence to lawmakers in British Parliament, according to a statement released.

They said she would appear in a parliamentary committee, marking the first time she has given testimony in Europe.

Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, told a Senate panel last week that leadership prioritizes “profits before people” and called on lawmakers to intervene.

It comes following the whistleblower leaking internal Facebook studies to the Wall Street Journal, wherein the company found it is an Instagram app harmful to teenage girls.

In the weekend, Facebook’s chief spokesperson Nick Clegg said the social media firm would introduce features to nudge teens away from harmful content and encourage users spending periods of time on Instagram to “take a break.”

“There needs to be great transparency on the decisions companies such as Facebook take when they trade off user safety for user engagement,” said Damian Collins, a British member of parliament and chair of the joint committee on the Online Safety Bill of the government.

In 2018, Collins made a name for himself when he took Facebook to task over the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal in a series of parliamentary hearings.

The U.K. government has introduced new legislation that would impose a duty of care on digital giants to ensure they monitor and take action against illegal material online. Failure to do so could result in fines of nearly 10% of annual global revenue or £18 million, whichever is higher.

Meanwhile, EU lawmakers have invited Haugen to appear at a November 8 hearing on whistleblowers in tech, though it’s not clear if she’s accepted their request.

“Whistleblowers such as Frances Haugen show the need to set democratic rules for the online world in the interest of users,” Anna Cavazzini, chair of the European Parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee, said.

“Her revelations lay bare the inherent conflict amid the platform’s business model and users’ interests.”

The European Union is planning of its own to regulate Big Tech. The bloc introduces two landmark laws, the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act, designed to stamp out harmful content and increase competition.

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