Former Facebook Engineer, Arturo Bejar, Set to Testify at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Child Safety

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A second Facebook employee has now come forward with allegations that the company failed to protect kids and teen users on its platforms in exchange for maximizing revenue and profits.

Arturo Bejar, a former Facebook engineering director who worked for the company between 2009 and 2015, is set to testify today (November 7th, 2023) at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. 

Bejar released internal documents posted to the Wall Street Journal that show Facebook and Instagram’s harm detection systems grossly underestimate the rate at which children and teens experience cyberbullying, sexual harassment, and predation and the rate at which they are exposed to content promoting eating disorders and self-harm.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Marsha Blackburn (R.Tenn), primary sponsors of the Kids Online Safety Actcommented on the whistleblower disclosure:

“Arturo Bejar has courageously come forward to share new, irrefutable evidence that senior Facebook executives knowingly turned a blind eye to horrific harms to young people on the company’s platforms. From Arturo’s disclosures, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg, Adam Mosseri, and other Meta executives were personally warned that millions of teens face bullying, eating disorder material, illicit drugs, and sexual exploitation, often within minutes of opening the app. Rather than address these deadly harms, Facebook continued to hide this information from the public and Congressional oversight, ignored recommendations to protect teens, rolled back safety tools, and dismantled teams responsible for kids’ safety. Arturo’s first-hand knowledge and damning evidence prove that Meta has put profits ahead of the safety and wellbeing of millions of teenagers, with a deadly toll on young people and families. It is clear that Facebook’s leadership will not act to make its platforms safer for users without a mandate.”

He is the second employee to come out against Meta, the first being Frances Haugen, who, in 2021, disclosed thousands of internal documents that showed Facebook was well aware of the negative impact their platforms had on teens.

This second instance of whistleblower allegations comes as Meta also faces a bipartisan push by 42 state attorneys general suing Meta for knowingly implementing addictive features targeted towards children and teens.

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