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Senator calls Mark Zuckerberg to testify following Instagram reports

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal has called Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or Instagram chief Adam Mosseri testify before the Senate to explain how the company plans to protect kids.

In a letter on Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on consumer protection, called on the Facebook executives to testify following a recent report from the Wall Street Journal on how the photo-sharing platform harms young users.

Blumenthal wrote: “Parents across America are deeply disturbed by ongoing reports that Facebook knows that Instagram can cause destructive and lasting harms to many teens and children, especially to their mental health and wellbeing. Those parents, and the twenty million teens that use your app, have a right to know the truth about the safety of Instagram.”

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen appeared before Blumenthal’s committee to explain the internal reports and surveys she obtained while employed on Facebook’s Civic Integrity group to lawmakers. The hearing focused on documents suggesting that Facebook knew Instagram was toxic for teenage users and the platform’s algorithms could lead them to content that encouraged self-harm.

During the hearing, Blumenthal called on Zuckerberg to testify regarding the Instagram revelations. In a earlier hearing this month, Blumenthal said: “Rather than taking responsibility and showing leadership, Mr. Zuckerberg is going sailing.”

Facebook has yet to confirm whether it plans to offer up Zuckerberg for testimony, but the subcommittee could force him to testify through a subpoena if he refuses.

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