Sen. Blumenthal says Zuckerberg needs to testify about Instagram and kids

Blumenthal said that it's 'urgent and necessary' for Zuckerberg or Adam Mosseri to appear.

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Karissa Bell
October 20th, 2021
Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
Erin Scott / Reuters

Senator Richard Blumenthal is again calling on Mark Zuckerberg to testify about Facebook’s research into Instagram and child safety. “It is urgent and necessary for you or Mr. Adam Mosseri to testify to set the record straight and provide members of Congress and parents with a plan on how you are going to protect our kids,” the Connecticut lawmaker wrote in a letter addressed to Zuckerberg.

Blumenthal is the chair of the Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security that’s been holding hearings on social media and child safety in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Blumenthal said that a series of whistleblower disclosures about Facebook was the company’s “big tobacco moment.”

Since then, pressure has mounted on Facebook to address internal research that shows Instagram can have a negative impact on some teens’ mental health. The company has already “paused” work on a forthcoming Instagram Kids app, but lawmakers have said the company should end the project altogether.

In his letter, Blumenthal said that Facebook’s head of safety, Antigone Davis, who testified at a previous hearing, “appears to have provided false or inaccurate testimony to me regarding attempts to internally conceal its research.” He also said that Facebook “has continued to demean impactful and independent investigative reporting” and “downplayed its own research.”

Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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