WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) has called on Facebook to release additional documents about the effect their platform has on children and their research on parents’ ability to help their children navigate the harmful impacts. This follows a recent hearing where former Facebook employee Frances Haugen testified before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on which Senator Lummis sits.
“The documents that Ms. Haugen shared provided alarming insight to internal research conducted at Facebook and the harm its platforms, including Instagram, causes kids and teenagers,” Senator Lummis wrote. “In light of Ms. Haugen’s testimony, it is evident that these reports only scratch the surface of the detailed research that Facebook has withheld from policy makers. This practice must end. Sunlight disinfects, and it is my hope that congressional oversight of Facebook’s internal research will bring appropriate accountability to these platforms.”
In the letter, Senator Lummis asks Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to provide information and research related to harmful effects Facebook and Instagram can cause on children including depression, eating disorders, and image dysmorphia. Additionally, the letter requests information about Facebook’s awareness of parents’ inability to assist their children when they confront these issues online. Earlier this year, Haugen released thousands of pages of internal Facebook documents and research to the Wall Street Journal, prompting congressional oversight.