Whistleblower: Facebook 'harms children'

A whistleblower told US lawmakers on Tuesday that they must intervene to solve the crisis created by Facebook. Frances Haugen said the company's products harm children, stoke division, and weaken US democracy.

Haugen worked for Facebook for two years on a team fighting political misinformation. She left in May, frustrated by what she saw as a lack of openness about the potential for harm. She leaked internal documents to the Wall Street Journal.

Haugen said employees knew their image sharing service Instagram had a negative impact on the mental health of young users, particularly teenage girls. Executives were planning to launch a version for children under the age of 13. But, last week, they suspended development.

The testimony came a day after Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. A spokesperson said company leaders disagree with many of the things Haugen talked about. But she said they agree it is time to create standards for the Internet.