Democratic senator dismisses Zuckerberg's whistleblower response: 'He has lost all trust if he ever had any'

Mark Zuckerberg
(Image credit: MICHAEL REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is dismissing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's response to a whistleblower's allegations against the company and urging him testify before the Senate to address the claims in the next few weeks.

Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, testified before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday and accused the company of choosing to "grow at all costs" at the expense of users' safety, creating products that "harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy." Zuckerberg subsequently addressed her testimony in a message to employees that he shared publicly on Tuesday, writing that "many of the claims don't make any sense" and that it's "just not true" that "we prioritize profit over safety and well-being." Zuckerberg added that it's "deeply illogical" to suggest that "we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit."

But Blumenthal on CNN's New Day dismissed this response, saying the documents provided to the Senate by the Facebook whistleblower "convincingly" support her allegations and that Zuckerberg "has lost all trust if he ever had any." The senator added that he hopes there are other Facebook whistleblowers who will come forward to share what they know because "we can't count on Mark Zuckerberg to tell us the truth."

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The whistleblower's testimony on Tuesday came after a series of bombshell reports on the social media company from The Wall Street Journal, including one alleging that Facebook's researchers have found "that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of" young users, "most notably teenage girls." Blumenthal told CNN that Zuckerberg needs to "come clean" and that the Senate subcommittee will be inviting him to testify, hopefully "in the next weeks, maybe in a month or so."

"We're going to invite him, ask him to come," Blumenthal said. "I can't tell you whether he will accept, but I think Mark Zuckerberg has an obligation to tell the American people himself, not just in this message to his employees."

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