Senators demand Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg answer questions after whistleblower’s revelations at hearing

As senators absorbed Tuesday’s testimony from the Facebook whistleblower, who leaked the corporate’s inside analysis to reporters, they demanded to listen to from the individual in cost.

In entrance of a Senate subcommittee, Frances Haugen, a former product supervisor at Fb, said the company repeatedly prioritized income over person security. Haugen mentioned she felt compelled to return ahead as a result of “virtually nobody exterior of Fb is aware of what occurs inside Fb.”

There’s one individual inside the corporate who is aware of greater than anybody: CEO Mark Zuckerberg. However on Sunday, as “60 Minutes” was set to air Haugen’s first press interview because the unmasked whistleblower, Zuckerberg posted a video that confirmed him crusing along with his spouse, Priscilla Chan.

Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and Chief Govt Officer of Fb, arrives to testify in the course of the Home Monetary Companies listening to on An Examination of Fb and Its Influence on the Monetary Companies and Housing Sectors on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019.

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“Mark Zuckerberg should be taking a look at himself within the mirror at present, and but, fairly than taking duty and exhibiting management, Mr. Zuckerberg goes crusing,” mentioned Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., chair of the subcommittee that held Tuesday’s listening to. “No apologies, no admission, no motion, nothing to see right here. Mark Zuckerberg, it’s good to come earlier than this committee it’s good to clarify to Francis Haugen, to us, to the world and to the mother and father of America what you have been doing and why you probably did it.”

Since The Wall Road Journal started working a collection of tales final month, based mostly on paperwork offered by Haugen, Zuckerberg has been noticeably silent on the matter. The tales have uncovered quite a few troubling points inside Fb’s apps, in addition to the corporate’s personal analysis that reveals Instagram is harmful to teens’ mental health.

The closest Zuckerberg has come to addressing the topic was on Sept. 21, after a New York Times story mentioned Fb’s present public relations technique is to distance the CEO from scandals and never apologize for them. The Instances incorrectly acknowledged within the story that Zuckerberg had not too long ago posted a video of himself driving an electrical surfboard.

Zuckerberg took offense, with a sarcastic response.

Frances Haugen, a former Fb worker, testifies in the course of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Client Safety, Product Security, and Knowledge Safety listening to titled Kids’s On-line Security-Fb Whistleblower, in Russell Constructing on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Name, Inc. | Getty Photographs

“Look, it is one factor for the media to say false issues about my work, but it surely’s crossing the road to say I am driving an electrical surfboard when that video clearly reveals a hydrofoil that I am pumping with my very own legs,” Zuckerberg wrote on Fb.

He was referring to a viral video from July 4, that confirmed him riding a hydrofoil whereas holding an American flag. Coupled with the crusing video from the weekend, senators mentioned Zuckerberg is lacking the second.

“Mark Zuckerberg goes crusing and saying no apologies,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., mentioned in the course of the listening to. “I believe the time has come for motion. And I believe you’re the catalyst for that motion.”

In holding his distance from the Journal’s studies and the whistleblower paperwork, Zuckerberg has let different firm representatives take the warmth publicly. Final week, for instance, Fb despatched Antigone Davis, its international head of security, to testify earlier than the identical committee concerning the Journal’s reporting and the corporate’s analysis.

‘The buck stops with him’

And on Tuesday, as Haugen was testifying, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone took to Twitter to try to discredit the ex-employee’s authority, by declaring that she did not work straight on the problems at hand.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., learn Stone’s tweet in direction of the tip of the listening to, and mentioned the corporate has an open stage to inform its facet of the story.

“I’ll merely say this to Mr. Stone: If Fb desires to debate their focusing on of youngsters, in the event that they wish to talk about their practices, privateness invasion or violations of the kids on-line privateness act, I’m extending to you an invite to step ahead, be sworn in and testify earlier than this committee,” Blackburn mentioned. “We’d be happy to listen to from you and welcome your testimony.”

In the end, it is Zuckerberg they wish to query. He is the founder, visionary, largest shareholder and he nonetheless controls over half the voting energy. Haugen made that time to the committee.

“Mark has constructed a company that may be very metrics pushed,” Haugen mentioned. “It is not it’s meant to be flat, there isn’t a unilateral duty. The metrics make the choice. Sadly, that itself is a choice. And in the long run, if he’s the CEO and the chairman of Fb, he’s chargeable for these selections.”

“The buck stops with the buck stops wit him?” Blumenthal requested.

“The buck stops with him,” Haugen mentioned.

After the listening to, Stone tweeted out a press release from Fb, suggesting that Haugen was not ready to know the internal workings of the corporate.

“We do not agree along with her characterization of the numerous points she testified about,” Fb mentioned.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., thanked Haugen for coming ahead, known as her “a Twenty first-century American hero” and mentioned the committee is coming after Zuckerberg.

“Here is my message for Mark Zuckerberg: Your time of invading our privateness, selling poisonous content material and preying on kids and teenagers is over,” Markey mentioned. “We is not going to permit your organization to hurt our youngsters and our households and our democracy any longer.”

Following the listening to, Blumenthal mentioned it was untimely to contemplate subpoenaing Zuckerberg, including that he ought to seem earlier than Congress voluntarily.

“He has a public duty to reply these questions,” Blumenthal mentioned.

— CNBC’s Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.

WATCH: Facebook investor on whistleblower testimony

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