News & Politics

Whistleblower to Congress: Facebook Knows China and Iran Are Using the Platform to Commit Espionage

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

Facebook may be in hotter water than initially thought after data was leaked showing that the platform increases suicidal ideation in teenagers. Former Facebook executive Frances Haugen dropped a bombshell at a hearing before the Senate Commerce consumer protection, product safety and data security subcommittee on Tuesday when she was asked about the company’s involvement in allowing enemy states like China and Iran to use the platform for nefarious purposes.

Haugen says this is not only happening with Facebook’s full knowledge, but they don’t alert members of Congress to the national security threats. “During my time working with the threat intelligence work….my team directly worked on tracking Chinese participation on the platform surveilling— say— Uighur populations around the world,” she said. The Chinese government has been exterminating, imprisoning, and torturing Uighurs for years. “You could actually find them [the Uighurs] based on them [China] doing these kinds of things.”

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This revelation that China is hunting the Uighurs on Facebook left Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) stuttering in shock. “So you are saying, in essence, the platform, whether Facebook knows it or not, is being used by some of our adversaries in a way that helps push and promote their interests at the expense of America’s?” he replied.

“Yes,” Haugen replied. “Facebook is very aware that this is happening on the platform and I believe the fact that Congress doesn’t get a report of exactly how many people are working on these things internally is unacceptable because you have a right to keep the American people safe.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced gleefully that Haugen had just opened up another opportunity for Congress to beat up Facebook on TV. “You may have just opened another area for another hearing,” he said, laughing.

“I have strong national security concerns about how Facebook operates today,” said Haugen, agreeing to sit for another hearing if asked.

While my initial impressions of Haugen’s intentions were not good, based on her disdain for free speech, some good might yet come out of this testimony. Maybe Facebook will finally be held accountable for the evil they proliferate.

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