The whistleblower hearing hits Facebook where the company is weakest

The whistleblower hearing hits Facebook where the company is weakest


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook’s newest whistleblower is set to testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday, and her testimony will likely to kick off a damaging new cycle in the years-long effort to regulate the platform. This time, Facebook is dealing with an unusually damaging charge: that the most central parts of its business — its product optimization, its content promotion algorithms, and its drive for advertising profits — are actively hurting its most vulnerable users.

It’s an alarming and specific claim, leveled from within the company and echoed by its most prominent critics. For lawmakers, it represents the best chance in years to take meaningful regulatory action against the world’s largest social network.

On Sunday, Frances Haugen, a former…

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