Facebook whistleblower goes to Washington

Facebook had a rocky end to the year in terms of Washington scrutiny and the court of public opinion, largely due to documents leaked by company whistleblower Frances Haugen.

In October, several news outlets published a series of stories based on thousands of internal Facebook documents that Haugen leaked, which painted a picture of a company prioritizing profits and ignoring internal warning signs on safety issues.

Haugen, a former member of Facebook’s Integrity team, also testified in the House, Senate and abroad about the Silicon Valley giant. In the U.S., lawmakers largely clung to leaked documents about children’s safety on Facebook and Instagram, which has emerged as a rare issue with bipartisan support.

As for Facebook, now under new parent company Meta, executives argued the internal documents misrepresent the research and dismissed Haugen’s testimony by saying she “had no direct reports” and “never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives.”