Facebook is reportedly pumping the brakes on some planned new products so it can take a closer look at how they could be criticized.
The social media company has "slowed the rollout" of new products and put work on existing products on hold so that more than a dozen people can conduct "reputational reviews" and examine how the company could face additonal criticism for them, The Wall Street Journal reports. The pause is also reportedly to ensure that these products don't negatively affect children.
News of the slowdown comes in the wake of Senate testimony from a whistleblower, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, who accused the company of putting profits above users' safety and of creating products that "harm children, stoke division, and weaken our democracy." Facebook had already announced it would pause controversial plans to develop a version of Instagram for kids in the wake of a report from The Wall Street Journal alleging the company's research suggests that Instagram is toxic for many teenage girls.
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"While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we've decided to pause this project," Instagram head Adam Mosseri said at the time. "This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today."
In a post Tuesday following the whistleblower testimony, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it's "very important to me that everything we build is safe and good for kids," also writing that he had asked "leaders across the company to do deep dives on our work across many areas over the next few days." Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has called on Zuckerberg to testify before the Senate and answer questions about the whistleblower's allegations within the next few weeks, but he told CNN the Facebook boss has "lost all trust if he ever had any."
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