A second Facebook whistleblower is ready to give her testimony before Congress regarding her former employee, describing how she felt as though she had “blood on her hands” after working there.
Sophie Zhang was ready to witness Facebook perform her “civic duty,” according to her tweet on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
“If Congress wishes for me to testify, I will fulfill my civic duty, as I’ve publicly stated for the past half year. Last year, I testified privately before a European Parliamentary committee though I was avoiding press. My duty to democracy comes first,” Zhang wrote, according to the New York Post.
When Zhang was sacked by Facebook last year after almost three years as a data scientist, she penned a lengthy statement describing how she thought the corporation was not doing enough to combat hatred and disinformation, especially in smaller and developing nations.
Zhang’s decision to testify follows fellow whistleblower Frances Haugen who pushed Congress members to regulate Facebook during testimony she gave before the U.S. Senate last week. Haugen also released confidential Facebook analyses to legislators and the Wall Street Journal.
According to Haugen, the giant social media company understated the harmful impacts of Instagram on teenagers’ psychological health, excused popular users from information regulations, and neglected to tighten up on drug dealers and human traffickers.
Following Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony, Zhang said from her home in the Bay Area on Sunday, Oct. 10, that she was encouraged that there seemed to be a bipartisan agreement for steps connected to the defense of children online.
Zhang added that she had provided police with evidence about Facebook activity.
“I provided detailed documentation regarding potential criminal violations to a U.S. law enforcement agency. My understanding is that the investigation is still ongoing,” she tweeted on Sunday, October 10.
However, Zhang refused to disclose what information she had given out or to which agency she had given it.
“The FBI does not generally confirm, deny, or otherwise comment on information or tips we may receive from the public,” an FBI representative said in a statement on Monday, Oct. 11.
According to Facebook’s latest quarterly report, nearly 90% of Facebook’s monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.
On Monday, Oct. 11, a Facebook representative disputed the assertion, claiming that the business had spent billions in the latest years on safety and security.
“We have also taken down over 150 networks seeking to manipulate public debate since 2017, and they have originated in over 50 countries, with the majority coming from or focused outside of the U.S.”, noted the spokesperson.
“Our track record shows that we crack down on abuse abroad with the same intensity that we apply in the U.S.,” the company rep added.
I provided detailed documentation regarding potential criminal violations to a U.S. law enforcement agency. My understanding is that the investigation is still ongoing.— Sophie Zhang（张学菲） (@szhang_ds) October 10, 2021
I just didn't choose to blast it across the front pages.
Why does that make me less of a whistleblower? https://t.co/tizQwetrsN