Ex-Facebook data scientist to testify before UK lawmakers
Sophie Zhang – a former Facebook employee who worked as a data scientist for the tech giant – is set to testify in the UK Parliament, according to reports from CNBC.
Zhang’s scheduled testimony will come just a week after Frances Haugen testified before the US Congress about the prejudicial actions and negligence she alleges Facebook is involved in around the world. Haugen, a former product manager for Facebook, is due to testify in Britain’s parliament on October 25.
Zhang will testify in Britain’s parliament on Monday, according to a committee schedule, for a formal meeting on an online security bill.
Evidence presented to Parliament for testimonies against Facebook “will inform the Committee’s work in crafting the Online Safety Bill, a seminal piece of legislation to regulate social media that is due to come to Parliament for approval in 2022. “, according to an online statement from the Joint Committee on the Online Safety Bill.
Zhang also said she was willing to testify before Congress, as she tweeted on Monday.
If Congress wants me to testify, I will fulfill my civic duty, as I have publicly stated for the past six months.
Last year, I testified privately before a committee of the European Parliament while avoiding the press. My duty to democracy comes first.https://t.co/F0BAlzw5oh
— Sophie Zhang（张学菲） (@szhang_ds) October 12, 2021
She has also indicated its desire testify publicly “before the parliament of any other democratic nation”.
In Zhang’s memo that was originally reported by BuzzFeed News in 2020, she wrote that she “found multiple egregious attempts by foreign national governments to abuse our platform on a large scale to mislead their own citizens, and caused international news on several occasions”.
Zhang also tweeted that she had provided detailed documentation of “potential criminal violations” to US law enforcement.
I provided detailed documentation regarding potential criminal offenses to a US law enforcement agency. I understand that the investigation is still ongoing.
I just didn’t choose to blow it up on the front pages.
Why does that make me less of a whistleblower? https://t.co/tizQwetrsN
— Sophie Zhang（张学菲） (@szhang_ds) October 10, 2021
Facebook has strongly pushed back against claims that it puts profits before safety.
“At the heart of these accusations is this idea that we prioritize profit over safety and well-being. It’s just not true,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post last week. “The argument that we deliberately push content that makes people angry for profit is deeply illogical.”