Tuesday, August 9

Facebook whistleblower will speak with committee investigating insurrection in Capitol


(CNN Business) — The Facebook whistleblower who posted thousands of documents that she claims show the company knows its platforms are used to spread hatred, violence and disinformation, will meet with the House of Representatives select committee investigating the Sept. 6 riots. January at the US Capitol as early as Thursday, three sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who has worked at other large tech companies, appeared publicly on “60 Minutes” and testified before a US Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

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The select committee is also interested in hearing from Haugen, CNN has learned, as he could provide insight into how Facebook was used to ultimately facilitate the violence that occurred at the US Capitol on January 6.

On Monday, House Intelligence Speaker Adam Schiff, a California Democrat on the panel, tweeted that the select committee “will need to hear from her. [Haugen] and get inside information from Facebook to understand their role. “

“According to this Facebook whistleblower, shutting down the civic integrity team and disabling electoral disinformation tools contributed to the January 6 insurrection,” she said.

A senior Facebook (FB) executive said Sunday on “Reliable Sources” that the company will never be able to control all of the content on its site and that it could be open to regulation as lawmakers continue to crack down on the tech giant. Facebook’s vice president of global affairs Nick Clegg responded after a tough investigation by The Wall Street Journal last week based on internal documents provided by Haugen found that the company was aware of problems on its platforms.

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“If the claim is that January 6 can be explained by social media, I think it’s ridiculous,” Clegg said during Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” broadcast. “Responsibility for the violence of January 6 and the insurrection on that day falls squarely on the people who inflicted the violence and those who encouraged them, including then-President Trump and, frankly, many other people in the media who were encouraging the claim that the election was stolen. “

Clegg said he believes it “gives people false comfort to assume that there must be a technological or technical explanation for America’s political polarization problems.”

In August, the select committee sent letters to 15 social media companies, including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (TWTR), seeking to understand how misinformation existed on their platforms and efforts to reverse the choice by domestic and foreign actors.

The panel specifically requested data and analysis on domestic violent extremists affiliated with efforts to reverse the 2020 elections, particularly around the January 6 attack.

– Brian Stelter contributed to this report


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