Speed Reads

Facebook fallout

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen says the company chooses to grow 'at all costs'

During an appearance before a Senate subcomimittee Tuesday, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen — a former employee who leaked damning internal documents to both The Wall Street Journal and Congress — testified that the company consistently places growth and profits over safety, and chooses to grow "at all costs."

"This is not simply a matter of certain social media users being angry or unstable, or about one side being radicalized against the other," said Haugen. "It is about Facebook choosing to grow at all costs, becoming an almost $1 trillion company by buying its profits with our safety."

The whistleblower unmasked herself ahead of a Sunday episode of 60 Minutes, after having provided the Journal with internal documents that became the basis of a bombshell investigation into the social network. The files show Facebook executives understand how to improve their apps, but instead choose to put "astronomical profits before people," per Haugen.

Haugen said she came forward because "almost no one outside of Facebook knows what happens inside Facebook," and the company isn't going to change on its own. She believes its products "harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy."

"A company with such frightening influence over so many people — over their deepest thoughts, feelings, and behavior — needs real oversight."

Watch her full opening statement below: