Speed Reads

'Finsta is one of your products'

Democratic senator bewilderingly asks Facebook executive to 'commit to ending Finsta'

Another major tech hearing brought more odd questions from lawmakers. 

Antigone Davis, Facebook's global head of safety, was grilled during a congressional hearing Thursday following a series of bombshell reports from The Wall Street Journal, including one alleging that Facebook has been aware that Instagram is "toxic" for teen girls. But at one point during the hearing, Davis appeared confused by a line of questioning by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who asked her about "Finstas," a slang term for a "fake," private Instagram account. While expressing concern about the idea of kids having secret Instagram accounts, he seemed to suggest these are actually official products made by Facebook. 

"Finstas are not something that we built," Davis said. 

Blumenthal returned to this line of questioning later in the hearing, asking near the very end of it, "Will you commit to ending Finsta?" Davis told him that "we don't actually do Finsta," reiterating that this term simply refers to people setting up secretive Instagram accounts that are more private than their main ones, often as to only be accessible by a smaller circle of friends. 

"Well, Finsta is one of your products or services," Blumenthal said. 

Davis again responded that Finsta is just "slang for a type of account," and Blumenthal asked if she would then commit to ending "that type of account." The Facebook executive said she was still confused about "exactly what you're asking," though, and Blumenthal ultimately expressed dissatisfaction with the whole exchange and her response before the hearing moved on. Watch the bizarre back-and-forth below.