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tv   Hearing on Protecting Children Online  CSPAN  October 2, 2021 1:27am-3:54am EDT

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journal" where we hear your voices every day. c-span has your covered. download the app for free today. >> next, a senate consumer protection subcommittee hearing on protecting children while online. facebook's global safety director told senators her company takes the privacy, safety and well-being of all of those who use facebook very seriously especially the youngest people who use their services and that they plan to proactively identify where they can improve. subcommittee chair richard bloom'n that'll of connecticut says that facebook routinely puts pro-fits ahead of kids' safety. this is about two hours and 25 minutes.
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mr. brule that: this meeting on consumer protection of the u.s. senate committee on science commerce and transportation will dom order. i thank the ranking member, senator blackburn for being here and especially i want to express my attitude to the chair of the committee senator cantwell who has encouraged and supported this effort and to the ranking member senator wicker who is also with us and who has helped to lead this effort has been very, very bipartisan. i think the ongoing series of meetings that we will have will be bipartisan in its objective and its conduct. i want to welcome our witness ms. davis who is appearing on behalf of facebook. thank you for being with us. this hearing is the third in in
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a series intended to help us draft legislation not just legislate but to prompt action by facebook itself. and that action has to address the harms that children and teens face on social media. i want to make clear that our ou commitments from several social media companies to appear in the coming weeks. we will hold them to those promises. we're here today because facebook has shown us, once again, that it is incapable of holding itself accountable. this month, a whistleblower approached my office to provide information about facebook and instagram. thanks to documents provided by that whistleblower, as well as extensive public reporting by
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"the wall street journal" and others, we now have deep insight into facebook's relentless campaign to recruit and exploit young users. we now know, while facebook publicly denies that instagram is deeply harmful for teens, privately, facebook researchers and experts have been ringing the alarm for years. we now know that facebook routinely puts profits ahead of kids' online safety. we know it chooses the growth of hits products before the well-being of our children, and we now know that it is indefensibly delinquent in acting to protect them. it is failing to hold itself accountable. and the question that haunts me
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is, how can we or parents or anyone trust facebook? facebook last night disclosed two reports. we have those two reports among the documents that the whistleblower has provided. there are numerous other extensive and sophisticated reports, but facebook has not disclosed why. that will be a question that i think will resonate throughout this hearing because the fact of the matter is, facebook has concealed research, studies, experts that show harm that has been caused to children on its site, how it knew about that harm, and how it concealed it continually. in august, ahead of this hearing, senator blackburn and i wrote to mark zuckerberg and we asked, as you can see from this
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poster board, quote, has facebook research ever found that its platforms and products can have a negative effect on children's and teens' mental health or well-being, such as increased suicidal thoughts, heightened anxiety, unhealthy usage patterns, negative self-image, or other indications of lower well-being, end quote? facebook's response was, quote, we are not aware -- we are not aware of a consensus among studies or experts of how much screen time is too much. that response was simply untrue. facebook knows -- it knows the evidence of harm to teens is
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substantial and specific to instagram. in new, previously undisclosed documents provided by the whistleblower, maybe making them available now through these quotes, we know that its own comprehensive internal review indicated that facebook employees found, and i quote, substantial evidence suggests that experiences on instagram and facebook make body dissatisfaction worse, particularly viewing attractive images of others, viewing filtered images, posting selfies, and viewing content with certain hashtags. i am going to repeat that quote. substantial evidence suggests that experiences on instagram
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and facebook make body dissatisfaction worse, particularly viewing attractive images of others, viewing filtered images, posting selfies, and viewing content with certain hashtags. that finding was not some disgruntled facebook employee making a complaint. it was facebook's own employee making a formal finding based on their research. and it was available at the highest level of facebook's management. in our august letter, we also asked, quote, has facebook ever found that child or teenage users engage in usage patterns that would indicate addictive or unhealthy usage of its platforms or products, end quote? facebook didn't even bother to respond directly and pointed us
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to a previous evasion. and it was a reason they responded in that way, because facebook knows, they know that children struggle with addiction on instagram, and they didn't want to admit it. facebook researchers have concluded that teens, quote, have an addict narrative about their use. have an addict's narrative about their use. another survey, also not disclosed publicly, found that, quote, over 1/3 of teens felt they have, quote, only a little control or no control at all over how instagram makes them
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feel. again, this conclusion is not solely one report, one facebook employee's perspective. it is a pattern of findings repeated across sophisticated and extensive studies that facebook itself conducted over the past four years. not displeases or dis -- not displeased or disgruntled employees. facebook's formal findings and conclusion. facebook knows the disruptive consequences that instagram's design and algorithms are having on our young people and society but it has routinely prioritized its own rapid growth over basic safety for our children. there is a teenage mental health crisis in america. after years of decline, starting in 2007, the suicide rate for
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young people has begun to skyrocket. the suicide rate for 10-14-year-olds have doubled. for young girls, it's kwaut rupeled. instagram -- quadrupled. instagram didn't create this crisis, but from the documents provided by the whistleblower, clearly facebook's own researchers described instagram itself as a, quote, perfect storm. that, and i quote again, exacerbates downward spirals. facebook knew it was a perfect storm through instagram that exacerbates downward spirals. my office did its own research. we created an instagram account. identified as a 13-year-old girl. and followed a few easily findable accounts associated
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with extreme dieting and eating disorder. within a day, its recommendations were exclusively filled with accounts that promote self-injury and eating disorders. that is the perfect storm that instagram has fostered and created. so facebook has asked us to trust it but after these evasions and these revelations, why should we? it's clear facebook has done nothing to earn that trust. not from us. not from parents. not from the public. in truth, facebook has taken big tobacco's playbook. it has hidden its own research on addiction, and the toxic effects of its product. it has attempted to deceive the public and us in congress about what it knows. and it has weaponized childhood
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vulnerability against children themselves. it's chosen growth over children's mental health and well-being. greed over preventing the suffering of children. these internal facebook studies are filled with recommendations. recommendations from facebook's own employees. and yet, there is no evidence, none that facebook has done anything other than a few small, minor, marginal changes. we all know they protected kids with disregard. if they protected kids like they did drive up revenue or growth it would have done a whole lot more. instead, facebook has evaded, misled, and deceived. i hope this hearing provides real transparency and marks a
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start to a change in facebook. parents deserve the truth. thank you for being here this morning. i'll turn to the ranking member and if the chairwoman or the ranking member have remarks, i'd be happy to call on them. senator blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to say thank you to you and your staff to working in partnership with us on this hearing. and i wish that senator markey was still here. he and i have been on this issue since we were each in the house and working on privacy, big tech accountability. so this is the type of hearing that's been a long time coming. and this is truly an important conversation for us to be having to continue and to be bringing our findings forward. so the public is aware, there are lot of moms -- security moms
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i call them -- that are very concerned about what they see happening in the virtual space. 2019, c.d.c. released some data, and adding to what you were talking about, i think this is important. in 2019, the c.d.c. data showed that 20%, 20% of our american high school students seriously considered attempting suicide. 40% reported experiencing sadness, hopelessness. now, our children, who have lived through covid, school closings and more upheaval in their lives than ever before deserve better than this. yet, where are the findings about the social interaction and relationship that they so desperately need?
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where they are finding this is on social media. on sites like instagram, tiktok, snapchat. and we know at least one of these sites, facebook, knows that its services are actively harming young children. they know this. how did they know this? because they did their own research, as chairman blumenthal just said. in 2019 and 2020, facebook's in-house analysts performed a series of deep dives into teen use of instagram. and it revealed -- and i'm quoting from the report -- aspects of instagram exacerbate each other to create a perfect storm. and that perfect storm manifests itself in the minds of teenagers in the form of intent social pressure, addiction, body image
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issues, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. but it gets even worse than this. because facebook, despite touting their compliance with coppa, was scheming to bring even younger users into their field, instagram announced this week that it is temporarily shelving their plans for instagram kids. but until this week, they were moving forward with this, trying to bring younger children onto their platforms. yet, at the same time that we're learning this, "the wall street journal" reported how facebook tried to use play dates -- that is right -- play dates to attract more children to its messenger kids service. in fact, facebook is fully aware
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that underaged children are using their platforms, not only that, but they encourage older teen siblings to recruit their younger siblings and are actually devising marketing plans to help kids and teens -- get this -- create secondary or anonymous accounts that they can hide from their parents. and they perform market research on kids as young as 8 years old. so they can learn how to recruit them to their sites. facebook is also aware of other types of harmful content on their site. in fact, a report shows how facebook knew about content devoted to coercing women into domestic servitude. yet, they chose to do nothing to stop it until apple threatened to pull facebook from the app store.
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that's correct. it took apple standing up to get them to stop this. in fact, this seems to be a recurring theme with this company. do everything and anything to mold the world into your own image, for your own profit, without any regard for any harm that is going to be done because your focus is on your pocketbook. adam, the c.e.o. of instagram, continues to double down on youth marketing. he said on the "today" show earlier this week when asked about instagram kids -- and i'm quoting him -- i firmly believe it's a good idea. as a father, the most important thing to me is the safety of my children, end quote. well, i am a mother and i'm a grandmother, and i really beg to
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differ with you. in fact, i would imagine that most of the chief mamas in charge at their own household would disagree with you. i think they would vehemently disagree with you. they don't want their kids going on platforms like instagram even if you assure us that it will be safe for tweens. as the chairman said, you lost the trust, and we do not trust you with influencing our children, with reading in to their minds. they also don't want facebook collecting data on children because -- call them whatever they want, tweens, teens, young adults -- the bottom line is these are children.
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they are children and you and mr. zuckerberg, both of you being parents, should understand that facebook has both a cleel and a moral obligation. so mr. chairman, i'm grateful for the opportunity that we have this hearing today to continue to investigate, continue to expose what is happening in the virtual space, and i am certain that we will be holding facebook to account as other tech platforms will be held to account. ms. davis, i thank you for appearing before us today. i hope we can have a very frank and candid conversation. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. blumenthal: thank you, senator blackburn. i call on senator cantwell. senator cantwell: thank you,
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mr. chairman, and for you, senator blackburn, for this important work on this public policy area. i think it's very important to understand that our committee would like to move forward on stronger privacy legislation. and yesterday's hearing clearly crystallized that we need to update the children's online privacy protection act. and this hearing, i'm sure, will put even more focus to the fact that we need to do that. i want to thank senator markey for his questioning yesterday. this month, "the wall street journal" published a series of articles about facebook and instagram showing the management knew in great detail about the impacts of these products, the harm to children, the harm to teenagers, and in spite continued to bury that knowledge. so as our colleague just said, data collection of children is something that should have more aggressive attention. they should not have the
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products and services track and follow these young children and updating coppa will be essential. as we said yesterday, the committee talked about, also, first time privacy and data security violation. there was unanimous support for that. so it's very important that we continue to take steps on this issue. i agree that the safeguards in place are not enough. and we need to do more. i look forward to hearing from the witness today. mr. blumenthal: thank you, senator cantwell. senator wicker. senator wicker: thank you, senator blemen that all. i will -- senator blumenthal. i will be brief because we need to get to our witness. facebook is one of a handful of big tech companies wielding immense power over our internet experiences. using its market dominance, facebook maintains unprecedented control over the vast flow of news, information, and speech on the internet.
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to maintain a free, open, safe, and secure internet, many of us on this committee have long called for more transparency and accountability from facebook and other social media platforms. today, the content moderation and data collection practices of big tech remain largely hidden to consumers. too often, americans are left wondering why their online posts have been deleted, demoted, demonetized, our outright censored without a full explanation. users also remain in the dark about what data is being collected about them, how it's being used and to whom it's being sold and for what purpose. recent reports from "the wall street journal" may have shed new light on why facebook's platform management practices had been kept from public view. this month the journal revealed that facebook's so-called cross-check program purportedly exempts certain public figures from its terms of service and
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community standards. the journal also disclosed faish's own internal research documenting the harmful mental effects of the platform on its photo sharing site effects on children and teens. both of these reports are deeply troubling and only amplify concerns about facebook's inconsistent enforcement of its content moderation policies and its disregard and well-being for children and teens. this morning, i hope facebook will be forthcoming about its platform management practices and take this opportunity to address "the wall street journal's" report. i also hope facebook will outline what it is doing to increase transparency and begin protecting users of all ages on its platforms. following yesterday's data privacy hearing, what remains clear to me is that congress must act to address big tech's
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continued reign to censor content, suppress certain viewpoints, prioritize favored political speech, stockpile consumer data, and act in other unfair and anti-competitive ways. the time to act is now, and i'm the fourth member of this committee this morning to say that. addressing these issues is essential to preserving a free and open internet and a thriving digital economy for generations to come. we are serious about taking action. thank you, mr. chair. senator blumenthal: thank you, senator wicker. we will now turn to our witness, ms. antigone davis at facebook.
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she spear heads facebook's safety advisory efforts and she earned her j.d. from the university of chicago law school and b.a. from colombia university. ms. davis, the floor is yours. ms. davis: thank you. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. my name is antigone davis. a parent, former teacher and like you, i care deeply about the safety and well-being of young people online. i have dedicated the better part of my adult life to these issues. in my current role, i work with internal teams and external stakeholders to make sure that facebook remains a leader of safety, including bullying and combating exploitation. this is some of the most important work i have done in my career, and i am proud of the work that my team does every day.
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at facebook, we take the privacy, safety, and well-being of all those who use our platform very seriously. especially the youngest people on our services. we work tirelessly to put in place the right policies, products, and precautions so they have a safe and positive experience. we have dedicated teams focused on youth safety and we invest significant resources in protecting teens online. we also know that we can't do this work alone. we work closely with experts and parents to inform the features we develop. we require everyone to be at least 13 years of age on facebook and instagram. when we learn that an underage user has created an account, we remove them from our platform. when it comes to those between 13 and 17, we consult with experts into sure our policies -- ensure our policies by giving age-related content. for example, earlier this year
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we announced all the users under the age of 16 will be defaulted into a private account when they join instagram. we also think it's critical to give parents and guardians the information, resources, and tools they need to set parameters for their children and help them develop healthy and safe online habits. that's why we published a variety of guides and portals intended to foster important conversations around online safety. and we're fortunate to do all this work with the help of industry experts, including our youth advisors, a group of experts in privacy, youth development, psychology, parenting and youth media. we understand that recent reporting has raised a lot of questions about our internal research. including research we do to better understand young people's experiences on instagram. we strongly disagree with how this reporting characterized our work. so we want to be clear about what it shows and what it does not show. the research shows that many teens say instagram is helping them with hard issues that are
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so common to being a teen. in fact, one of the main slides referenced in the article includes a survey of 12 difficult and serious issues like loneliness, anxiety, sadness, and eating disorders. we ask teens who told us they were struggling with these issues, whether instagram was making things better, worse, or having no effect. on 11 of the 12 issues, teen girls said -- who said they struggled with those issues were more likely to say that instagram was affirmatively helping them, not making it worse. that was true for teen boys on 12 of 12 issues. i want to be clear, i am not diminishing the importance of these issues or suggesting we will be ever satisfied everyone is struggling on our apps. that's why we conduct this research, to minimize the bad and maximize the good. and to proactively identify where we can improve. and the most important thing about our research is what we've done with it. .
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we built a.i. to identify problems on our platform and rapidly respond with resources. we built a dedicated reporting flow for eating disorder related content and offer resources when people try to search for it. we have a long track record of using internal research, external research and close collaboration with experts to use our apps to provide help. we have the opportunity to jump in when we see people dwelling on certain types of content and direct them to content that inspires and uplifts. finally, i want to speak about content and kids under 13. when it comes to kids and teens, they are already online. we believe it's better to give teens access to a version ofence
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ta gram that parents can oversee than to have them lie about their age to access an app not built for them. that's why we've been working on delivering age appropriate parent-supervised experience something youtube and tiktok already do. we recognize how important it is to get this right. we've heard your concerns. which is why we announced we are pausing the project to take more time. we'll keep listening to parent, keep talking with policymakers and regulators like yourselves, keep taking guidance from experts, and we'll revisit this project at a later date. there's an important part of what we've been developing for instagram kids we won't be pausing. supervisory tools for parents. we'll continue our work to allow parents to oversee their children's accounts by offering these accounts on instagram.
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# this will give parents the opportunity to shape their childrens' experience. as a parent i would have appreciated these tools as my daughter learned to navigate social media. i look forward to answering your questions. safety and well being are areas where we are investing heavily and we welcome the collaboration of lawmakers and elect # if -- elected officials. thank you and i look forward to the discussion. mr. bleumen that'll: thank you. all of us know as parents how vulnerable teens are at this age, how they can succumb to eating disorders, even to suicidal tendencies and how susceptible they are. so the effect of facebook
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knowing and encouraging those tendencies is deeply repugnant. facebook knows from its own report, disclosed -- undisclosed previously that it found in december, 2020, a survey of over 50,000 facebook users that, quote, teens, women of all ages, and people in western countries experience higher levels of both body image concerns and problems with appearance comparison on instagram. in an april, 2021, report, which also has not been disclosed, i felt -- it felt that a quarter of keep girls felt worse about themselves often or very often after using instagram. another undisclosed report, march, 2020, found, quote,
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social comparison is worse on instagram and quote, in part because its recommendations, quote, enable never-ending rabbit holes and because it, quote, is perceived as real life. i don't understand, ms. davis, how you can deny that instagram isn't exploiting young users for its own profit. ms. davis: thank you, senator, for your question. i'd like to speak specifically to this as an experienced mom of a teenage daughter. as someone who was a teenage girl herself. and as someone who has taught middle school and teenage girls. i've seen firsthand the
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troubling intersection between the pressure to be perfect, between finding your way at this age. research we found more teen girls actually find instagram helpful, to those suffering from these issues. find instagram helpful than do not that doesn't mean the ones that aren't aren't important to us. mr. blumenthal: these are your own reports. these findings are from your own study and your own experts. you can speak from your own experience but will you disclose all the reports, all the findings, will you commit to full disclosure? ms. davis: senator, thank you. i know we have released a number
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of reports and are looking to release more of this research. i want to be clear that this research is not a bombshell. mr. blumenthal: i beg to differ with you. this research is a bombshell. it is power. , gripping, rivetting evidence that facebook knows the effects of its site on children and concealed those facts and findings. so i ask you to commit that you'll make full disclosure, all of the thousands of pages of documents, that the whistleblower has, and more. that can be made available. i want to switch to a separate
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topic because i think yao ipped kailted that you're not willing at this point that you'll fully disclose everything, unless i'm mistake snn i'll give you a chance to respond. ms. davis: we are looking for ways to release more research, there are privacy considerations that we knead to take into account. a bit more importantly we are looking for ways to give external researchers access to data to do independent research as well. mr. blumenthal: i think that's an important point. you haven't provided that access to researchers. you refused to make it available to independent experts and researchers and i will ask you as well far commitment to do so. and i recognize you're not going to answer this question here. but let me ask you separately. in your remarks, you say, quote,
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we think it is important to provide parents and guardians the information and tools they need, end quote. i want to talk about one major source of concern for parents. they are finstas. those are fake instagram accounts. finstas are kids' credit second accounts. they often are made to avoid parental oversight. facebook knows teens are often the most tech savvy in the household. that they need or they would like to have critical ways, facebook would like to have critical ways to acquire new, older users. facebook also knows that nearly every teen in the united states has an instagram account. it can only add more users as
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fast as there are new 13-year-olds. what facebook has dope is finstas. in pult pl documents facebook describes these as a unique value proposition, end quote. it's a growth strategy. a way to boost its monthly active user metric. that active user metric is of great interest to your investor, and it looks like another case of prioritizing growth over children's safety. facebook claims it's giving tools to parents to help their kids navigate social media and stay safe online. but behind the scenes, your marketers see teens with multiple accounts as unique
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value opportunities. let me quote, unique value propositions. we all know that means finstas. you're monetizing kids deceiving their parents. you make money when kids deceive their parents. you make money from these accounts. your investors raise the stock prices. how can parents trust you? ms. davis: that's not how i would actually characterize the way we build our products. we build our products to provide the best experience for young people. interestingly when you mention finstas, in my engagement with teens, finstas are not something
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we built, they built. they did it to provide them -- provide themselves with a more private experience, which is one of the things that led us to think about offering them privacy. more privacy. so that's actually where finstas come from teen, not us. but i think more importantly, our announcement that we are going to be providing supervisory tools that give parents actual insight into what their children are doing on instagram is exactly contrary to what you're suggesting. mr. blumenthal: these are private, they are secret, they are secreted from parents so whatever tools you may have parents can't apply them and they are part of the metric, they're measured, so you can show growth. i'll turn to the ranking member. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr.
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chairman, thank you, ms. davis for being here. i congratulate you on a perfectly cue rated background, it looks beautiful coming across the screen. i wish the message you were giving us were equally as attractive. let me go to instagram c.e.o. adam mesari, recently saying, and i used this interview in my opening statement, that 13-year-olds are not allowed on instagram is that true? yes or no. ms. davis: 13-year-olds and above are allowed on instagram. under 13-year-olds are do not mrs. blackburn: but we know you're doing research on children as young as 8 and are marketing to 8 to 12-year-olds, correct? ms. davis: we do not market to # to 12-year-olds. they're not on instagram. 13-year-olds or above. if we find an account of someone
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under 13 we remove them. in the last three months we removed 600,000 accounts of under 13-year-olds. mrs. black burn: talk to me about how you enforce the policy that 13-year-olds -- under 13 cannot be on instagram? ms. daste: i appreciate that question. there are a number of different things we do. we have an age screen when someone tries to join instagram. if we see someone trying to repeatedly change the date to get past that we actually will restrict their ability to access the app. we also allow people to report underage accounts even you're not on facebook and we'll remove them. and we're investing in using a.i. and other signals to remove underage accounts. mrs. black burn: not to interrupt but i've got five minutes. talk to me about what the map is. because i know you've -- your
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research -- your research shows that you've looked into using the map for kids under 13. so why don't you explain that to us. ms. davis: map is just -- a measure of how many people are using a site and that is monthly active people. mrs. blackburn: but you were going to apply that to children under 13. there were you were trying to quantity the number of children under 13 years of age using your site, correct? ms. davis: that doesn't sound accurate to me. mrs. blackburn: let's have you clarify that for the record. your research shows that you were using the map on children under 13. i want to move on and talk to awe about what've seen about the presence of contented on facebook and instagram used to
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recruit women into domestic servitude. this is a kind of trafficking where people are forced to work against their will for little or no pay. their passports are often taken away from them. they can be auctioned online and abused. and i have a poster that is behind me, i hope that you can see this. i've seen information suggesting that facebook knew this content was on its website but did nothing to delete it until apple threatened to drop facebook from the apple app store. to quote from a facebook internal report, and i quote, was this issue known to facebook before the bbc inquiry and apple escalation? yes. end quote.
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quoting again, due to -- removing our application from platforms would have had severe implications for the business. did facebook know about content on its platform used to recruit women into forced slavery and why did you not remove it? -- remove it until apple threatened to drop facebook from the app store? ms. davis: respectfully, senator, i don't agree with that characterization of what occurred. in fact we have policies against sex trafficking. mrs. blackburn: this is your reporting. ms. davis, this is your company's reporting. you knew this was there. you knew it was there.
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but you didn't do anything about it. is it still there? are you still allowing sex trafficking on facebook? is this something that girls as young as 8 who are on your site are exposed to? let's get a little bit more definition around this. one more question for you. one of the "wall street journal" articles came out monday shared facebook research about the product segments it would like to target in the future. it shows younger and younger kids. this is your poster, i mean, this is your graphic, i've put it on a poster. where we've been and where we're going. in fact, documents i saw showed facebook doing market research on 8-year-olds and i'm quoting from you all now, tweens and
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younger teens are very similar in digital behaviors. even kids as young as 8 are interested in similar digital experiences. end quote. the documents show survey results into the digital interest of 8 to 10-year-olds. so with this cat gorrization in mind, does facebook conduct market research on tweens, yes or no? ms. davis: thank you, senator. first i'd like to actually clarify that document that you have up behind you that document is from an age-appropriate design code something that senator marquis and others have actually given to tech companies as a way for us to think about how we design for different ages. it is actually a direction on policy.
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mrs. blackburn: so you are admitting that you're designing for # to 12-year-olds. i think that's something that is very interesting. because you know that's a violation of the children's online privacy act. and i guess what you're telling us then is that you also are doing market research on children and that you are continuing to collect data on children. as you try to figure out what type digital experience children, children, ages 8 to 12, are interested in having. i'm over time, mr. chairman. i will yield back. mr. blumenthal: thank you, senator blackburn. senator klobuchar. ms. klobuchar: we now know that facebook's own research shows that instagram worsens body image issues for one in three
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teenage girls. were you aware of those findings before "the wall street journal" article came out? ms. daste: what those findings are are actually of teenage girls who already expressed having that issue. one is one too many. ms. klobuchar: i have five minutes, and i appreciate that, we'll put that on the record but were you aware of the find bfertion "the wall street journal" article came out? ms. davis: i work -- ms. klobuchar: i was actually asking a polite question. were you aware, could you answer yes or no? ms. davis: yes, i was. ms. klobuchar: what specific steps did you take in response to your own research and when? ms. davis: senator, i don't know if i can give you exact dates but this research has fueled
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numerous product changes. so for example in the context of eating disorders we now have a dedicated reporting flow for eating disorder content. we also pop up resources for individuals if they try to search for this content. numerous changes. ms. klobuchar: what i'll do is in writing ask the questions so we can find out the dates from when the research came out and what you did. facebook was creating a version of instagram that targeted kids under 13. you announced this week you are pausing that program. what specific criteria will you use to determine whether to unpause the plan and who will make that decision? ms. davis: thank you, senator klobuchar. i think what we intend do at this point in time is step back, talk with more parents, to engage with more policymakers like yourself, to engage with more experts. what i do know is that parents
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are -- of children under the age of 13 are allowing their children onto sites between the ages of # and 12. ms. klobuchar: i so appreciate if you were answering the question i would let you go ahead but i was asking who will make the decision about whether to unpause the work on developing that program? ms. davis: it will be a team within the company but done with the guidance and expertise of our youth advisers, sharing from parents, sharing from policymakers. ms. klobuchar: that's guidance, i was asking the identity of the person. ms. davis: i don't have a single person. ms. klobuchar: last quarter facebook reported its revenue per user in the u.s. and canada, this is for a quarter, was $51 per quarter. didn't even compare with any
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other industrialized nation or any other country. they're making so much money off american users. i asked your colleague, steve satterfield, about that last week in a hearing in my judiciary antitrust subcommittee. the hearing we had on big data. in his response he said he wasn't entirely sure whether the data included instagram revenue. does it include instagram revenue and does it include revenue from kids under 18? ms. davis: that is not something i work on. it's not how we build products in relation to young people. we actually have always limited ads for young people and much more repently -- recently we reduced, based on guidance from experts we don't target young people. ms. klobuchar: again i appreciate that, we're good at filibustering in the senate too but i am really concerned about
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the answer because i think it's specific. again, i will do this in write, i will publish the answers but i am just asking a fact you guys published these quarterly revenues. we have them on different countries, right, how much money you make. we got that information. and so i'm trying to figure out if it includes instagram, i'm trying to figure out if it includes kids, which i assume it does. i will keep pursuing it another way. when you estimate the lifetime value of a user, you must do that, because i know your profit model and how it works now after years of taking on this monopoly dominant platform issue. what do you estimate the lifetime value of a user is for a kid who starts using facebook products before age 13. ms. daste: that's not how we think about building products
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for young people. we are focused on making sure parents have supervisory tools. it's not the way we think about it. certainly not the way i and my team think about it. ms. klobuchar: that may be true about your team are. you saying facebook in developing products has never considered, and you are under oath, has never considered the profit value of developing products when they make those decisions of how those products look? ms. davis: we are a business. i'm solely aware of -- i'm surely aware of that what we are thinking about is how to provide the best experience. if we have a shortsighted version of just -- without focusing on providing a better experience or good experience that's a terrible business model. ms. klobuchar: we'll follow up in writing. i'll follow up in writing and try to come back if we have a second round.
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mr. blumenthal: i am hopeful we'll have a second round. i don't know if senator thune is available. if not. senator moran. or senator lee. i will turn to senator marquis -- mrakey in the absence of -- senator markey in the absence of a republican senator wishing to ask questions. i'm going to vote so you're in charge, senator markey. mr. markey: thank you very much. we'll recognize republican members as they arrive. in april, senator blumenthal and i wrote to c.e.o. mark zuckerberg ringing the alarm about facebook's plan to launch a version of instagram for kids 12 and under. i'm pleased that facebook responded to our concerns and is
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backing down at least temporarily from our concerns. but a pause is insufficient. let's be clear. the problem isn't that instagram hasn't developed a safe product for kids. the problem is instagram itself. according to facebook's own research, teen users consistently blame instagram for increases in their anxiety and depression. in fact, 3 #% of teen girls said when they felt bad about their bodies, instagram made them feel worse. and 6% of american teen users traced their desire to kill themselves to instagram. for teens, instagram is worse than a popularity contest in a high school cafeteria because everyone can immediately see who is the most popular. or who is the least popular.
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instagram is that first childhood cigarette. meant to get teens hooked early, exploiting the peer pressure of popularity, and ultimately endangering their health. facebook is just like big tobacco, pushing a product they know is harmful to the health of young people. pushing it to them early. also facebook can make -- all so facebook can make money. ig stands for instagram but it also stands for insta-greed. the last thing we should allow facebook to do is push young kids to use instagram. ms. davis, will you commit that facebook will not launch any platforms targeting kids 12 and under that includes features such as like buttons, and follower counts, that allow children to quantify popularity?
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yes or no? ms. davis: senator markey i'd like to take a second to disagree with your comparison. our products actually add value and offer -- and often enrich children's lives. they allow them to connect with family and friends. mr. markey: i appreciate that. we have a limited time in question and answer. i have a question for you. will you stop launch, will you promise not to launch, a site that includes features such as like buttons and fallower counts that allow children to quantify popularity? that's a yes or no. ms. davis: those are the kinds of features we'll be talking about with experts trying to understand what is most age appropriate and what isn't age appropriate and we will discuss those features with them of course.
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mr. markey: we're talking about 12-year-olds. 9-year-olds. if you need to do more research on this, you should fire all the people who you paid to do your research up until now. this is pretty obvious and it's pretty obvious to every mother and father in our country because all recent scientific studies by wild development experts found that not getting enough likes on social media significantly reduces adolescents' feelings of self-worth. here's another threat to young people on instagram. the app is full of images and videos of popular influencers. who peddle products while they flaunt their lavish lifestyles to users. will you commit that facebook won't launch any sites targeted to kids that host influencers that children may be able to identify as advertisements, yes or no?
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ms. davis: that's one of the questions we'll be looking at with our experts as well. i do think it's important to point out that our app messenger kids for -- a messaging app for young kids under 13 doesn't show ads at all based on the feedback we got from parents and from our experts. mr. markey: it's not acceptable that you don't have answers for these questions right now. these are the obvious problems that exist. in television we don't allow the host of the program to hawk a ruct to a child. it's illegal. i'm the author of those laws. i know it's illegal. the same thing is true here. why facebook can't just say flat out, no, we won't allow influencers to be try to push a child toward buying something because that child has now seen a video is just again, completely and totally
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unacceptable because we know that children lack the cognitive ability to decipher whether something is an advertisement, an influencer marketing is inherently manipulative to kids, the same thing was true on television. it's true over here. we have to move the same values from television over to the internet or else the same exploitive policies will be adopted by marketers. research also finds that your algorithms send teen users into a spiral of harmful content including misinformation about covid and ads for diet pills and appetite suppressants. ms. davis will you commit that facebook will not launch any platforms targeting children that employ algorithms promoting this dangerous content? ms. davis: thank you, nart markey. we don't allow weight loss ads
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to be shown to people under 18 already. mr. markey: that's reassuring that content shouldn't exist anywhere on your platform. your platforms, however from my perspective, are actively promoting these materials. and we can't let that happen to kids. you seem to disagree that you're doing that but my reserge says you are. if facebook has taught using any it's that self-regulation is not an option. we need rules. rules that are federally mandated. that have to be adhered to by companies. that's why today i am reintroducing the kids internet design and safety act, the kids act, partnering with senator blumenthal, who i thank for
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working with me on this bill. our legislation bans damaging website design features like follower counts, autoplay, and push alerts that are harmful to kids. limits advertising and commercial content like product placement. and influencer marketing to kids. and prohibits amplify case of harmful and violent content to kids. ms. davis, do you agree that congress inside the to pass this legislation and enact these critical safeguards for children online? yes or no. ms. davis: senator markey, i think our company has made its position well known that it's time for updated internet regulations and we'd be happy to work with you on that. mr. markey: do you support this legislation? ms. davis: i'd be happy to follow up on that.
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mr. markey: your company has had this legislation in your possession for months and you're testifying before the committee that would have to pass this legislation. i just feel that, you know, delay and obfuscation is the legislative strategy of facebook, especially since facebook has spent millions of dollars on a marketing campaign calling on congress to pass internet regulations. and facebook purports to be committed to children's well being. so it's simply wrong that you will not support this legislation to enact protections on kids, for kids online. that's the only conclusion i can reach since you've had it in preparation for this hearing for a long period of time. so we know that face b.c.'s top priority is its bottom line. congress has to stepin we have an obligation to enact a bold agenda for young people online. that means passing the kids act to take on big tech's damaging and coercive tactics to hook kids to updating the child
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online privacy protection act to flienl give young people up to the age of 16 a privacy bill of rights for the 21st century and passing my camera act to launch a major research project at the national institutes of health on the effects of tech on children. it's time for us to do this. we cannot wait. this is a crisis. we must act. let me now turn and recognize senator thune. mr. thune: thank you, mr. chairman. i, along with many of my colleagues, are deeply concerned about the lack of consumer traryndz transparency and limited accountability of big tech companies. consumers have become increasingly troubled about the way their information is used by social media platforms and how these sites decide what news an information we see. because of the secrecy with which platform pros tech their algorithms and content moderation practices which largely has been and continues to be a black box, consume verse
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little or no idea how the information they see has been shaped by the sites they're visiting. i urge these two bipartisan bills to address these issues in platform accountability, the pact act and filter act. the pact act would increase transpersoncy -- transparency around platform moderation act, that would provide transparency when facebook removes a post. and the filter act would give users the opportunity to interact with pages without the algorithm. "the wall street journal" recently revealed that facebook overhauled its algorithm in 2018 in an effort to boost, quote, meaning. social interactions, meant to strengthen bonds between friends and family. instead the overhauled algorithm rewarded outrage and sensational. i making facebook's platform an
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angrier place. mr. zuckerberg proposed fixes because he thought it would hurt facebook's goal to have having users interact with facebook. should users be able to interact with sites like facebook without relying on algorithms to keep them engaged on the platform? ms. davis: that's not how we think about our products. our products are designed to connect people to people they have meaning. connection to. that particular change actually reduced the amount of time that was spent on our platform by about 50 million hours a day. the goal there was really to promote that more meaning. connection between friends and family. that said, i do think we have instituted additional controls for people ease news feeds so people can have a news feed
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that's based on chronological order as opposed to a ranking and we have made numerous investments in transparency broadly. we have an annual transparency report. we actually submit to human rights impact assessments. we have an oversight board. all because we too, like you, believe in more -- believe more transparency is important. mr. thune: the pact act which i referenced earlier, section 230 legislation, would among other things require large online platforms remove court-determined court determined activity in four diers lose protection. do you believe facebook and other large internet platforms should remove content found by a court to be illegal? ms. davis: we have policy against illegal activity on our platform and illegal content. mr. thune: there's a study
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published in the proceeds of the national academy of sciences way back in 2014 that revealed that facebook conducted a massive experiment of 700,000 users on its platform that found and i quote, emotional state can be transferred to others via emotional contagion leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness, end quote. today, seven years later, we're learning thru media leaks that facebook's internal studies continue to show the emotional contagion its services can produce among users most recently with teen users on instagram. what do you think should be done to make users more aware of the emotional contagion on faceback and instagram and what can be done to counter program against emotional contagion on facebook and instagram. ms. davis: thank you, senator. i appreciate that very thoughtful question. in fact, the research we did wasn't exactly about emotional
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contagion, nonetheless, the recent research real iidentified areas where we could improve our products. so for example, we saw that young people indicated that when they saw uplifting content or inspiring content that could move them away from some other issues they're struggling with. one of the things we're looking at is something called ledges, where you could nudge somebody who you saw maybe potentially rabbit holing content toward moreup lifting content to break that, what you're referring to as contagion. mr. thune: my time has expired. let me close by saying that i think it's time for us to look at some of these reforms. i've got a couple of bills as i mentioned and i just think users need to know, they need more transparency. these algorithms are opaque and i think in many cases users ought to have an option to be
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able to see content that hasn't been moderated by the platform. so i hope that we can make some headway on that. i hope we do it soon. thank you. senator markey: thank you, senator thune. i call on senator lujan. mr. lujan: we heard from you today and from others that facebook contests the "wall street journal's" reporting on internal research rather than argue detail, i have a simple question. yes or no. does facebook have internal research indicating that instagram harms teens, particularly harming perceptions of body image which disproportionately affects girls? ms. davis: senator we have released the two studies in relation to this. what our resoarnlg showed was for people who are struggling with these issues that actually more of them found their
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engagement on instagram helpful than harmful. and in fact of the 12 issues we looked at, 11 of those were the case for young girls and 12 of 12 for teen boys. mr. lujan: one of the challenges i'm facing here, ms. davis is that there's two sides to this story. the problem is, facebook is telling both sides. you're seeing your own internal research as misleading and taken out of context so please help us get to the bottom of this. yes or no, will facebook release the basis of the research, the data set, minus any personally identifiable information to allow for independent analysis? ms. davis: senator we have already released two of the primary pieces of research. we are looking to release additional research and to create greater transparency. we're also quite invested in giving external researchers an
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opportunity to access data in a way that's privacy protected. in addition we fund and research external independent research through grants. we'd be happy -- mr. lujan: if you could give mea yes or no to this question. it's yes or it's no. will facebook release the basis of the research, the data set, minus any personally identifiable information to allow for independent analysis? ms. davis: we're looking to release more of that research. mr. lujan: that sounds like a yes. am i correct? ms. davis: we have privacy obligations. mr. lujan: i'm asking for you to release the data minus any personally identifiable information. if i'm incorrect with your answer being interpreted as yes, please correct me.
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ms. davis: i want to be really clear. mr. lujan: yes or no if the answer is not yes, then it's no. on april 11, 2018, i asked mr. zuckerberg if facebook creates shadow profiles for nonusers that utilize the site without logging on or officially creating an account. despite ongoing and public reporting on this issue, in response, mr. zuckerberg claimed he had never heard the quote -- the term, quote, shadow provile. now in the context of today's discussion i'll ask a slightly different question. yes or no. does facebook or instagram collect personally identifiable information specific to individual children under the age of 13 without the consent of those children's parents or guardians? ms. davis: children under the age of 13 are not allowed on instagram or facebook. mr. lujan: does facebook or
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instagram collect personally identifiable information specific to individual children under the age of 13 is yourness -- is your answer no? ms. davis: respectfully senator we do not allow children under the age of 13 on our app. mr. lujan: the question i'm asking, in the same way i asked mr. zuckerberg on april 11 about the collection of this information, does facebook or instagram collect personally identifiable information specific to individual children under the age of 13 without the consent of those parents or guardians? if the answer is no that's sufficient. ms. davis: it would be my understand that we don't since we don't allow them on our app. mr. lujan: i appreciate that i understand that the algorithm underpinning moderation change on a regular basis. ms. davis, yes or no. in preparation of changes to existing algorithms, has facebook ever first tested
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potential impacts of those changes before they are rolled out broadly? ms. davis: this is not my area of expertise, i the that we do do testing to understand the impact of changes but i can't speak specifically to this one. mr. lujan: publicly, facebook has said they do do that. has facebook ever tested whether a change in its platform will lead to a growth of users or growth of revenue? ms. davis: would you repeat the question? mr. lujan: has facebook ever tested whether a change to its platform would later increase growth in users or growth in revenue? ms. davis: respectfully senator, this is not my particular area of expertise, i can take the question back to the team but i'm sure we think about business issues of that kind. mr. lujan: facebook has said
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flick play d publicly they do. has facebook ever tested whether a change to its platform increases an individual's or group of users' propensity to post violent or hateful language? ms. davis: again, senator, this is not my area of expertise. i'd be happy to take your questions back to the right team and get you answers. mr. lujan: i think we might get more responses to that one next week. has facebook ever tested whether or not a change to its platform makes an individual or a group of users more likely to consider self-harm? ms. davis: the research that has been released, has been reported on, looks at whether a young person thinks -- their first thoughts of suicide occurred on our platform and you know while there -- the numbers show about
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.5%, about a half percent do, that's one too many. as someone who had a brother who died by suicide as well as a very close college friend, if there's one person on our platform who attributes their suicidal ideation to our platform that's one too many and we have built product changes to address that. we have a suicide prevention reporting flow, where you can actually connect with a crisis counselor right from that reporting flow. family members who report something can actually connect with the person immediately because our experts have told us that when they connect with that person, that's one of the best ways to prevent suicide. we take this issue very seriously and we're the industry leader when it comes to preventing -- addressing suicide on our platform. mr. lujan: yes or no, has facebook ever found a change to its platform would inflict harm
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on the users but moved forward because it would increase users or grow revenue? ms. davis: not in my experience at all in facebook. we care deeply about the safety and security of the people on oour platforms. we've invested $2 billion in it. we have thousands and thousands of people working on this issue. that's not how we would approach it. mr. lujan: i hope that the answer to the very first question i asked will be a profound yes. the one area that facebook can make structural changes here is by simply making research public by default. allow real, independent oversight. and i look forward to that information being given to the committee. if not i look forward to requesting it formally. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. blumenthal: thank you, senator lujan. i think you're right in that. ms. davis you refused to commit that these research and findings
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will be made public. who will make that decision at facebook? ms. davis: i don't believe there's one person who will make that decision. there are many people looking -- mr. blumen that'll: isn't it a fact -- foarts mr. blumenthal: isn't it a fact that mr. zuckerberg will make that decision? ms. davis: many people work on our only tbaitions. mr. blumenthal: with all due respect to you, the word transparency is easy to use but it's hard to do. so far, there is nothing that you have said to indicate that disclosure of these findings, conclusions, recommendations, facts, known to facebook about the harmful effects of its product will be made available and in fact that a decision will
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be made by any specific time or by any particular individual. can you tell us more? ms. davis: i think our commitment to transparency in the last two years should be a very good indication of our commitment. we've launched a transparency report, we have set up an oversight board, we have impact assessments, we're doing a tremendous amount to ensure transparency around our platform. and we're looking for ways to give independent researchers access to data so they can get independ studies as well. mr. blumenthal: that's perhaps one of the most discouraging parts of your testimony that you're relying on your past record of transparency for what you'll do in the future they feel fact of the matter is,
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there are thousands of documents that we have only because of -- only because a whistleblower has come forward. documents that show your own findings. that is directly the opposite of transparency, ms. davis. i realize that you are testifying here about the efforts of facebook to counter those documents but the only way to counter facts is with real transparency. let me ask you, while we're waiting for other senators to arrive, i know that some are on their way, for years, instagram did nothing about eating disorders. it began to take some small steps only when a 14-year-old girl, her name was molly russell, took her own life. she was getting trapped in that
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perfect storm that facebook researchers describe. your own researchers called it a perfect storm. our research has shown that right now, in real time, instagram's recommendations will still latch onto a person's insecurity. a young woman's vulnerability. about their body. and drag them into dark places. that glorify eating disorders. and self-harm. that's what instagram does. in fact, according to documents provided to me as recently as april of 2021, that's this year, a facebook engineer raised concerns that, quote, no one has decided to dial into eating disorders. end quote.
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they documented the problems we have verified. so you knew. you knew. how long should it take to fix these problems? what are you going to do to address what we have found just within the past week or so? ms. davis: we've been working with suicide prevention experts since 2006. we also work with eating disorder experts we don't allow the promotion of either kind of content on our platform. we do allow individuals to talk about their journeys to recovery because our experts have told us that that's really important and helpful to them. we have a dedicated reporting flow when it comes to eating disorder content and offer support, all work that's been generated out of research and
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working with our experts. that will be out -- mr. blumenthal: in your answer, in response to my question, what are you going to do to fix the problem, you're essentially saying there's no problem. is that right? ms. davis: respectfully, senator, no, that's not what i'm saying. as long as there's one person dealing with the issue on our platform we consider it a problem. and there are additional product changes we are looking at. for example, i think i mentioned earlier that we're looking at nudges toward uplifting content. one of the things that teens themes have identified as helpful to them when they're dealing with certain issues that they're struggling with like eating disorders. we're also looking at something like take a break. where we encourage somebody to take a break when we think they may be rabbit holing down certain content or on the app too long.
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mr. blumenthal: you're not committing to any specific steps by any specific time but you do acknowledge there's a problem with eating disorders, with suicidal tendencies that may be fostered or promoted. ms. davis: certainly, senator, i think we actually have issues in relation to teens and suicide and eating disorders within our society and to the extent that those things play out on our platform we take them extraordinarily seriously. we always ask, you mentioned a time, i can't give you a time period but we're working on it. in addition to all the things we already do we'd be happy to follow up with you and share with you progress that direction. we take these issues very seriously. mr. blumenthal: i know you take it seriously, that's what you're telling us, but all you're doing is looking at possible steps and with all due respect these steps
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are baby steps. not even baby steps. in the direction of trying to improve instagram and meet the very serious problems that have been disclosed. let me come right to the point. instagram for kids has been paused. how long will it be paused? ms. davis: i don't have a specific date but i do have a commitment from all of us at at face pook that we will be speaking to parents, talking to policymakers like yourselves, we'll be talking to expert we want to get this right we also know that young people are online, under the age of 12, on apps not designed for them. we want to get their parents supervisory tools and insights they need so they can manage the amount of time they're child is spending and determine what their child should be seeing or should not be seeing.
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actually fundamentally to allow them to parent their children. mr. blumenthal: who will make the decision about how long instagram for kids is paused? mark zuckerberg, right? ms. davis: there's no one person that makes that decision. we'll be working with experts to understand and get to a comfortable place before doing so mr. blumenthal: senator blackburn. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. let's go back to this issue, the data you all are collecting on kids through your program where you're tracking them, you're doing the digital experience surveys, what are you -- what do you do with that data and how long do you keep it and do you have the parent's permission to do that research?
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ms. davis: we have the strongest privacy protections and whenever we do it for minors, we get parental consent. senator blackburn: you get parental consent. why don't you submit a record a skreeb shot what you use as a parental consent form. will you do that? ms. davis: i'd be happy to take your request back to the team that do the research. senator blackburn: no, we want a copy of the form. if you get parental consent, there has to be some kind of form that's signed. so even if it's a digital signature. so why don't you submit that to the record? will you submit the form for the record? ms. davis: senator, i will go back to the team and bring that request to them. senator blackburn: ok. "the wall street journal"
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articles have had a big impact and have helped bring some sunlight to your practices. and i'm sure that mr. zuckerberg was not pleased with this. and in some of the documents we've seen that there's a real lack of governance. it's kind of his way or the highway at facebook. so how long have you worked at facebook? ms. davis: i've worked there for seven years. senator blackburn: seven years. ok. have you all deleted any documents since you learned about whistleblower and "the wall street journal" reporting? ms. davis: senator, we would not do anything in violation of any law. there are 60,000 employees. i have no idea if any -- i would never suggest what emails -- one of our 60,000 employees has
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deleted. senator blackburn: ok. how are you restricting access to data internally? have your policies changed since "the wall street journal" articles? ms. davi that i am -- not that i am aware of, certainly. senator blackburn: ok. so you don't know if there's a parental consent form even though you say you have people sign one if you're going to do research on their children. i would be interested to see if it's similar to a medical release form that parents have to sign. and you don't know if you've changed any practices about data handled internally or if you have eliminated data. ok. let me ask you this. will you commit that facebook will not take revenge retribution or retaliation against the whistleblower?
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ms. davis: senator, we would never take -- retaliate coming to speak to congress. that's just not who we are. senator blackburn: ok. but you are not going to say about the action. i wasn't asking about speaking in congress. i was asking about the actions. we'll leave that where it is. are you aware of facebook enabling tracking on the uighur muslims in china when they would download messenger? are you aware that they've put tracking spyware in messenger in china? ms. davis: senator, in fact, we did not put that tracking spyware. we found that tracking spyware. we removed it. rebriefed the senate on it. senator blackburn: ok.
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why did senator blumenthal's office so easily accessed instagram and set up this account for a 13-year-old and then immediately they began to receive information about eating disorders and self-harm content? what kind of artificial intelligence are you using that would direct them that way? ms. davis: senator, we do not direct people towards content that promotes eating disorders. it actually violates our policies, and we remove that content when we become aware of it. we actually use a.i. to find content like that. senator blackburn: what you're saying that the experience that senator blumenthal's office had was an outlier or an anomaly, is that correct? ms. davis: senator blackburn, i
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have not seen those particular things. i can tell you that -- it's against our policy. senator blackburn: the digital copy of the poster that he had here. so thank you. and mr. chairman, i yield my time. senator blumenthal: thank you, senator blackburn. we can make available to you, mrs. davis, all -- ms. davis, all of the information how easily and readily we put this profile of a 13-year-old young woman on and the reactions on eating disorders. i'm sure you already have the findings and evidence that supports our conclusions. senator aluminum miss is on -- senator lummis is on remotely. mrs. lummis: thank you. i'm in awe by "the wall street journal's" article demonstrating the conclusion of facebook's own research, conclusions which
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merit repeating. just one in three teen girls reported the instagram app made them feel worse about their body image. another significant portion of users also reported increase feelings of anxiety, suicidal thoughts, depression, and eating disorders as a result of the app's use. unfortunately, this research did nothing more than confirm any of our earlier intuitions and sprigss. -- suspicions. social media can be dangerous to your mental health. i look forward to more studies on the impact of social media on mental health. however, i'm concerned by the consistent lack of transparency from facebook. the fact is that this committee would not be here without the brave whistleblower who stepped forward to shed light on this issue. an issue that many of us had previously sought answers to before and that we now seek answers to today. we must remember that despite
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apps that report to be free for us to use, there's a very real cost, one that often comes at the price of our youth's mental health. i was fortunate to grow up without the pressures of social media, but for the first time, today's generation of children struggle with how to grow up managing a virtual version of themselves all while the billion-dollar industries compete for their time, attention. more must be done. i signed onto a bill by placing strict restrictions on behavioral advertising directed at children. so my question for you, ms. davis, has facebook conducted research into how children are more easily manipulated by highly personalized advertising? ms. davis: i would not be familiar with that research.
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what i can tell you is we have very limited advertising to young people. you can only actually now target a young person based on their gender, age, oral location spsh or location. for messenger kids we don't allow adds at all. i think we would -- allow adds at all. i think we would want to safely provide place for kids and that's why we have our rules in place. senator lummis: has facebook withheld any relevant information relating to their service's impact on mental health? here's why i ask. when asked during a congressional hearing in march of earlier this year about the impact of social media on children's mental health, mr. zuckerberg responded, and i quote, the research that we've seen is that using social apps to connect with other people can
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have positive mental health benefits. that's only one side of the coin. this answer clearly only told part of the story. these documents reveal facebook knew that. how can congress or facebook users have confidence in the credibility and safety of facebook moving forward? is facebook withholding information about studies they've done our negative mental health consequences? ms. davis: thank you for your question, senator. actually, i would say that the one side and misleading reports actually were in "the wall street journal" which didn't provide the full context. in fact, the research showed that many -- more people, actually more teens, found the instagram use helpful when they were struggling with these particular issues. our research is not bombshell
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research. it's research that is correlated to similar research out of harvard, out of pew, out of berkley. that doesn't mean we don't take this seriously. we do this research to improve our product, to make our product better for young people, to provide them with a positive experience. right now young people tell us, eight out of 10 tell us they have a positive experience on our app. we want that to be 10 out of 10. if there is someone struggling on our platform, we want to improve their experience and help support them. senator lummis: so do you have information on the two out of 10 who had not had neutral or positive experiences so you know how to adapt the presentation of your product to consider the fact that some children seem harmed or negatively impacted what they're seeing? ms. davis: thank you, senator. i really appreciate some of that thoughtful question.
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we found those teens what they thought could be particularly helpful to them and one of the things they identified is inspiring content or content about people overcoming these particular issues, uplifting content. we are looking at product changes to find ways to nudge that content to individuals who are struggling. senator lummis. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. senator blumenthal: thank you. i will do the second vote and yield to senator cruz for his questions and i will be back shortly. senator cruz: thank you, mr. chairman. mrs. davis, where are you right now? ms. davis: washington, d.c. in a conference room. senator cruz: so you're in washington, d.c. why aren't you in this hearing room right now?
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ms. davis: this is where i am because of the covid protocols and safety for our family. senator cruz: facebook is in the process of hiding. you are not physically here even though you are blocks away from us so you're sitting in a conference room but you don't want to actually face senators and answer questions. last week, a colleague of yours, i guess, didn't have the instincts of hiding that you did. mr. satterfield actually came here and had a hearing. by the way, we have hearings every week, even with covid. it's witnesses that want to hide aavoid us that is not -- and avoid us that is not here. but your colleague, mr. satterfield, played the sergeant schultz game. you remember the old tv show "hogan's heros." it is i hear nothing, i see nothing. when it came to facebook's research concerning the
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incredible harm that instagram is inflicting on young girls, your colleague, mr. satterfield, said he didn't know anything about it. that he didn't cover those issues. he didn't know anything about it. so i would assume, ms. davis, as global head of safety, you are familiar with these issues? ms. davis: certainly. senator cruz: so you're not going to plead ignorance, as mr. satterfield did, is that right? ms. davis: to answer my question -- [indiscernible] senator cruz: ok. one of the things "the wall street journal" reported was that mark zuckerberg was personally and directly aware of that research, is that correct? ms. davis: senator, mark pays attention to a lot of impact research that we do. and i would -- i don't know whether he was aware of the specific piece of research. but i know he's looking at the research, as we all are. i work with the research teams on a weekly basis, daily basis,
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actually, in relation to the safety and security of the people on our platform. senator cruz: all right. so you said you weren't going to plead ignorance. you said i don't know. it was reported that mark zuckerberg was personally aware. have you discussed this research with mark zuckerberg, yes or no? ms. davis: this particular research, i don't remember discussing that with him, no. senator cruz: ok, a minute ago you said that this research -- and i wrote it down because the phrase really jumped out at me. you said, this is not bombshell research. i found that a pretty remarkable statement. "the wall street journal" reported that your facebook research concluded that 13% of british users and 6% of american users trace their desire to kill themselves to instagram. is that right? is that a conclusion of your research? ms. davis: respectfully,
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senator, actually, what the research shows, if you look at it more carefully, is that about .5% of teens indicate a connection of suicide ideation to their instagram use. that's .5% too many. we've invested incredibly heavily in suicide prevention on our platform. for example, we have specifically dedicated -- senator cruz: so you just suggested a moment ago that i look at the research more carefully. how would you propose i do that? have you released the research? ms. davis: we released to the public the research that our -- that is part of that story and we're looking to release additional research. senator cruz: so was "the wall street journal" not telling the truth when it said, quote, 13% of british users and 6% of american users trace their desire to kill themselves to instagram? that is from "the wall street journal." was that true or false?
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ms. davis: it's a misunderstanding of the research, but i'd point you to the blog post that our vice president of research wrote that goes through the research and explains the research. senator cruz: has the full research been released or not? ms. davis: actually, senator, we've released two of the specific studies and we're looking to release more research. senator cruz: what are you keeping secret? because you're telling us, if only you knew the full refrp and then -- research and then at the same time you're not releasing the research. so which is it? ms. davis: i understand your -- i don't understand your question. senator cruz: do you want us to examine the full research or not? ms. davis: two primary resources. senator cruz: so you've cherry-picked the ones you want us to see. i haven't seen this research. if you released it i'll happy like at it -- look at it. it said concluded, and this is your own researcher concluding,
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13% of british users and 6% of american users trace their desire to kill themselves to instagram. have you released the underlying -- the entire underlying research behind that? ms. davis: senator, again, i disagree with the characterization of the research in "the wall street journal." senator cruz: are you released the research behind it? the entire research? ms. davis: we released the two studies. senator cruz: so you cherry-picked part of the research that you think helps your spin right now. so let me ask you -- if 6% of american users trace their desire to kill themselves to instagram, you just said that's not bomb chel research. tell me -- bombshell research. tell me which is bombshell research, if 6% is not, what would be? ms. davis: precisely, senator, this is, again, a mischaracterization of the research. maybe more importantly, the research showed that in those small instances, in that .5%,
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there's actually an opportunity for us to help. that teens do find we can be helpful. senator cruz: so has facebook changed your policies after you had a report that said teenagers using your product were significantly more likely to kill themselves, did you change your policies at any regard to prevent that? ms. davis: respectfully, senator, we have a set of suicide prevention experts that we work with on a regular basis. and we are constantly updating our policies in the -- senator cruz: did you change your policies as a result of this research informing you that your products were making teenage girls significantly more likely to kill themselves? ms. davis: we update our policies on an ongoing basis. senator cruz: you're not answering my question. did you change your policies in response to this research, that's a yes or no? ms. davis: we change our policies based on expert guidance, not based on -- senator cruz: you are not going to answer that question.
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i'll ask one final question which is, your company conducted paid-for research that informed you that your products were making teenage girls more likely to kill themselves. i have a two-part question. number one, have you quantified how many children have taken their own lives because of your products? and number two, as the global head of safety for facebook, what would you say to a mother, what would you say to a father who lost a child because of facebook's products? ms. davis: first of all, senator cruz, the research that you are referring to is in fact not causal research. that's important to understand. second of all, as someone who had a brother die by suicide as well as a close college friend who died by suicide, i would offer any family who ever lost a child, regardless if it has to
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do with facebook or not, in relation to suicide, the utmost of empathy. senator cruz: so you didn't answer the question if you didn't any effort to quantify how many children have taken their own lives because of facebook's products, have you done any -- has the company done any effort to quantify, to put a number to it? ms. davis: causal research, senator, requires a long period of time. we've made significant investments to understand -- senator cruz: is that a no? ms. davis: this is not causal research, senator. senator cruz: it's a no. you've done no research to determine how many children have taken their own lives because of facebook's products? ms. davis: that's not research that we could do easily. that's a long-term set of research. it's not. but -- senator cruz: sorry it's not easy. i suggest when you have children taking their own lives, it's worse doing your characterization this is not bombshell research is inaccurate and for the parents who are
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losing their children, it is a bombshell in their lives. and i understand facebook needs to make a buck. and so if the research isn't easy, apparently you guys aren't doing it, but there is a reason people across the country are horrified at this behavior. senator blackburn: thank you, mr. cruz. senator lee, you're recognized. senator lee: thank you, madam chair. mrs. davis, i have -- ms. davis, i've long been concerned about the targeting of adult-themed ads to minors because adult content or sexually suggestive content has unique psychological effect on minors. i think it should be addressed when we're talking about teen mental health. so my first question to you -- does facebook, and by facebook i mean facebook and instagram,
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allow these businesses to target their advertisements to children using your platform, children who are between the ages of 13 and 17? i need a yes or no answer on that. do you allow businesses to target those kinds of advertisements to kids between 13 and 17? ms. davis: thank you, senator. if you'll allow me to explain how we do advertising on our app that would be helpful to answer your question. senator lee: i would like a yes or no. if you can add a sentence or so, you can but i have a lot of content to cover. ms. davis: so when we do ads to young people, there are only three things that an advertiser can target around -- age, gender, and location. we also prohibit certain ads to young people, including weight loss, weight loss ads, and one
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of the reasons that we're so vested in looking at things like instagram use is to try to create more age-appropriate experiences. senator lee: ok. so you do allow some businesses to target their advertisements to young children, i get that. i'd like a yes or no on this one also. i need you to work on this. i am not trying to play gothca. if you need a sentence to explain, that's fine. does facebook collect data -- do either facebook or instagram collect data or assign interest of adult-related material to the profiles of children using your platform? by adult-related material, i mean things not limited to sexually suggestive content but also things like, i don't know, cigarettes, alcohol, other
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things that are -- that would be considered more appropriately themed to adults. ms. davis: senator, thank you for your question. we don't allow -- let me answer certain parts of this. directly as i can here. we don't allow tobacco ads at all. we don't allow them to children either. we don't allow alcohol ads to minors. we also have policies for some of the content you're referring to. so, for example, we don't allow adult -- sexual exploitation of minors on our platform. senator lee: you're answering a different question than the one i asked. we got to move on because i got limited time. does facebook and does instagram allow businesses to target children on your platforms with advertisements that are sexually
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suggestive, sexually explicit, or that contain other adult themes or products? ms. davis: senator, i'd have to understand more what you mean but we don't allow young people to see certain types of content and i have to see specifically what you are talking about and i'd be happy to follow-up for you for sure. senator lee: what -- ms. davis: categories of ads that we don't allow for young people. so i mentioned a few of them. tobacco, alcohol, weight loss products. i'd be happy to get you the full list. senator lee: i would very much like to see that. i think that would be important to have. and i also hope that in our follow-up you can also let us know what data you are
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collecting about the interest that your users have in those age groups. now, i hear countless stories about how platforms, including instagram, but by no means limited to instagram, can facilitate child exploitation as well as easy access to pornography. each of these platforms have an app that's available through the apple app store and the google play app store, which have an age rating guide to guide consumers to what's considered age appropriate content. for example, for apple, on apple's app store, instagram and facebook are rated for children 12 and up. and on google play, instagram and facebook are both rated t for teen.
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is the 12-plus rating from apple and the teen rating from google, is the recommendation that facebook made to apple and google for suggesting the age? in other words, did those age ratings come from facebook? i can't hear you. i think you're on mute. can you unmute? i need you to unmute? ms. davis: sorry about that, senator. this is not necessarily my area of expertise but i'll answer to the best of my understanding. we don't submit the age and say this is the age of our app. we actually submit a form that we fill out and then an app rating is assigned to our app. senator lee: assigned by whom? by the app stores?
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ms. davis: this is not my area of expertise. i am probably not the best person to answer you. but i'm happy to get more information. i think it's an interesting one. i don't mean to not be able to answer you. senator lee: a lot of these questions i'm asking relate to the fact that due to the allegations that we're hearing about today about problematic content, including content that is -- that is sexually explicit or suggestive or in some cases adult-themed, if not sexually explicit or suggestive, in light of the fact that content does exist, why is there such a disparity between the app's rating on the one hand and the content that's available on the platform on the other? and what are you doing to promote appropriate age ratings and transparency about the content that's on your platforms, taking into account that you got a whole lot of
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teenage and child users? and that not all of that content is appropriate for them. ms. davis: senator, i got to answer this question. as a parent these are one of the things i thought about quite a bit for my teenage daughter. sexually suggestive content as well as content i thought could -- across media and social media broadly impact her sense of her own body image and well-being. one of the things that we committed to when we pawed instagram youth was actually giving parents supervisory tools in relation to their teen that's on instagram. in part for exactly what you're talking about which is to give them the ability to better manage their child's experience, to have -- to actually potentially control portions and
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meaningfully control that -- their child's experience. and certainly to give them the visibility to make -- to set boundaries. senator lee: right. on the existing apps, the existing apps have an age rating. and so i really would like to know whether you recommended those age ratings and regardless of whether you recommended them, whether you think those are appropriate given the availability of content that's not suitable for children? ms. davis: well, we do not recommend those ratings. we are very focused on building age-appropriate experiences. it's why we're investing in a.i. and it's why we are looking at instagram youth and why we put these supervisory tools on instagram. like you, we care very much that parents can help determine what their child should see and not see. senator lee: ok. i'm out of time. i want to leave you with a parting question. are those ratings appropriate,
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let's say, apple's rating, 12 and up, are they appropriate for facebook or instagram or any other platform like them -- not really another platform like them, but if there were, platform that like facebook and instagram does allow for minors to access and some cases be targeted using material that's not appropriate for children? so are those age ratings appropriate? ms. davis: senator, i would really love for you to invite apple to answer those questions. and i'd love to hear from apple on their -- senator lee: i've asked this question many times with apple and i'll continue to have many conversations with apple. i am asking your opinion as a facebook executive.
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ms. davis: i don't have visibility into their decisions that they make. but what we do have control over is building age-appropriate experiences. and that's what we're trying to do. so we're trying to actually develop experiences where parents have supervisory control for under the age of 13 we can ensure age-appropriate content. we're putting policies in place on our app to ensure kids don't have access to inappropriate content. this is all part of our ongoing work and our commitment to family. senator lee: the term attractive nuisance and term used in the common law keeps coming to mind. i wish we could talk more about attractive nuisances. thank you, mr. chairman. senator blumenthal: thanks, senator lee. and we will be inviting other tech companies to testify. i hope they will respond to the kinds of questions that you raise here, senator lee. just a few final questions. you are asked about possible
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retaliatory action and you said, i think, that it's not who we are. there would be no retaliation against a whistleblower. will you commit there will be no legal action based on the disclosure of the whistleblower's documents? ms. davis: i'm aware that there are rules in terms of the senate and we will confide with those rules. senator blumenthal: i am asking if there are any legal action based on the disclosure of the document either from the whistleblower or anyone else publicly? ms. davis: we've committed to not retaliate for them coming to the senate. senator blumenthal: so that's a yes, there will be no legal actions based on the disclosure of documents, facebook documents, that is a yes,
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correct? ms. davis: senator, we've committed to not retaliating for this individual coming -- speaking to the senate. senator blumenthal: can you tell me, ms. davis, following up on senator blackburn's question, regarding these documents that have been disclosed publicly, all thousands of them, not just the two that facebook disclosed last night, have you locked down these documents, shutting out other facebook employees? ms. davis: senator, it's not my understanding that we've done that. it's not my understanding we've done that. senator blumenthal: you have not, that's your testimony? ms. davis: i am not the person -- right person to ask. i canfollow-up and get
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an answer. senator blumenthal: i'd like you to confirm, if you would, that those documents, the research, the findings, and recommendations are available to others at facebook. i am just going to ask you finally -- you've declined to commit that any more of those documents will be made available. who in the company will get back to us in response to that question? ms. davis: we'll be sure to follow up with your office. i'll go back to the team. senator blumenthal: will you commit to ending finsta? ms. davis: we don't actually -- we don't actually do finsta. what it refers to young peopling setting up accounts where they
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have more privacy. [indiscernible] in my interaction with the teams, they sometimes like to have an account where they can interact just with a smaller group of friends. senator blumenthal: it is one of your products or services. we're not talking about google or apple. it's facebook, correct? ms. davis: it is slang for a type of account. senator blumenthal: will you end that type of account? ms. davis: we -- i'm not trying to understand exactly what you're asking. what i can say is that based on what we've seen in terms of teens using those kinds of accounts, we've actually given them additional privacy options to address -- to address those kinds of issues where they want more privacy so they can have more privacy. senator blumenthal: well, i don't think that's an answer to my question.
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i think we have reached the end of our hearing. we have another vote. i don't think any of my colleagues have any other questions. so sorry. senator sullivan. senator sullivan: thank you, mr. chairman. senator blumenthal: i'm so glad you're here. senator sullivan: thank you for holding this hearing. i think it's a really important hearing, and i know you care a lot about it. i care a lot about it. so ms. davis, i won't ask you but i have three daughters. and when i read the -- when i read "the wall street journal" story, i was shocked but, you know, in some ways not surprised because i think we've seen a lot of this. when you're looking at your applications, your services, do
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you balance the mental health needs of americans versus the addictive nature of the products that you sell? ms. davis: thank you, senator. i do have a 23-year-old daughter. first of all, i don't agree with the characterization of our product. in fact, we do think -- senator sullivan: sorry. i'm going to interrupt here. what don't you agree with what i said, addictive nature? ms. davis: yes. senator sullivan: addictive nature or mental health, which two phrases -- phrase do you disagree with? ms. davis: i don't like our product is addictive. we don't -- that's not how we build our products. senator sullivan: sorry. i'll drill down on that.
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you don't think your -- you don't think your products are addictive in terms of teenagers constantly wanting to be engaged in social media? ms. davis: senator, as a parent, someone who talks to parents quite a bit, certainly parents, all parents -- i haven't met a parent who doesn't think of the time their child spend on their phone. one of the things we've actually done to address that is to make people aware how much time they're spending. there is a dash board they can see. they can set a reminder to let them know how long they are on. we have something called take a break which has prompted somebody that's been on to take a break. that, i think, gets at your question. senator sullivan: i want to -- well, i'll get to mental health. i want to drill down on this
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addictive element. isn't part of your business model to have more eyeballs for longer amount of time engaged using your services? ms. davis: respectfully, senator, that's not actually how we build our products. in county if a, we may -- in fact, we made changes to allow for more meaningful interactions knowing that would impact the time spent. in fact, it did impact the time spent by about 50 million hours per day. we did it anyway because we were trying to build a positive -- a more positive experience. senator sullivan: so can you address the issue of mental health? are you aware of these mental health challenges for teenage girls? i'm sure you've seen the statistics more broadly about suicides for teenage american females. what are you doing to address that? and were you aware of these challenges, according to "the wall street journal," that was
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in that study? ms. davis: certainly, senator. i am very aware of the issues that teens face. i used to be a middle school and high school teacher. and had a teenage daughter. and was a teen myself. and being a teen comes with -- comes with challenges. and that is reflected sometimes in our platform. and what we have done and why we did this research was to identify where those challenges may be on our platform and how we could potentially change our product to help. what we saw with that research was that out of 12 issues, really challenging issues, issues like anxiety, depression, loneliness, sadness, that 11 out of 12, teens -- more teens thought their experience on the platform was helpful than harmful. now, the teens where they found it harmful, we want to make
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those changes. we want to make changes to actually provide them with a better experience. senator sullivan: sorry i have to interrupt. you have evidence that those issues, isolation, mental health, do you have evidence that those challenges and mental health challenges are actually helped by using, for example, instagram more or less, are you telling me that the use of your products actually limits those challenges? i think it's almost obvious that they increase those challenges. so what's your testimony today? i thought you said they actually reduce that, is that what you said? i find that quite remarkable. ms. davis: thank you, senator.
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actually, there's -- our vice president of research -- i will be careful -- that research is not causal research. it's what teens said about their experiences on our platform. the numbers you are talking to speaks specifically to teens who identify as suffering from these particular issues. i think what's really important here is that this research actually is being used to make product changes. to identify places where we can be more supportive of teens. so, for example, take a break is something i mentioned earlier in some of the questioning. this is something we would surface to a teen who may be online during a long period of time and give them an opportunity to take a break. [indiscernible] maybe not positive. there is something called nudging. we would nudge them, uplifting
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or inspiring content. that content can be helpful. our goal here -- right now, the research shows that eight out of 10 teens say they have a positive to neutral experience. we want it to be 10 out of 10 and to be positive. we want to provide a better experience for teens. senator sullivan: ok. let me end here. i'm going over my time but i don't see any other senators waiting for questions. and i know the chairman is going to come back to wrap this up. but i think the issues of mental health, of depression, of isolation, i think the social media engagement, particularly for teenagers, enhances these challenges. and i think we're going to see this more and more studies.
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and you mentioned take a break. i'm not a big fan of the chinese communist party. as a matter of fact, most things they do i instinctively disagree with. but you may have seen recently that they have -- the way they do things. i guess it wasn't a law. but they have told chinese teenagers to take a real break. and to limit the amount of time that a teenager in china can spend on social media or gaming or things like this. do you think the u.s. government needs to look at doing something like that, an edikt, if you guys won't -- edict, if you guys won't? i think we look back 20 years from now and see the massive
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social, mental health challenges that were created by this era when teenagers had phones in their faces starting in seventh and eighth grade and continue to have them and we're going to look back and we're going to go, what in the hell were we thinking. maybe it might be the one time where we say, why didn't we, like the chinese communist party, say take a break. what do you think of the chinese new edict on taking a break for over a billion people? and should the united states government think about doing something like that? not relying on you guys. because i do think your business model in part is eyeballs and time spent online with your services. i mean, i think that's pretty obvious if you have less viewers and less time, you're going to get more -- you're going to get less revenue.
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so can you really, on your own, help people take a break or do we, the u.s. government, have to help people take a break like the chinese are doing right now? ms. davis: respectfully, senator, i think there is some complexity here. so for example, during covid, people used apps like ours to actually stay connected. it was a lifeline for them. they couldn't go to their schools, they couldn't go to their colleges, they couldn't do their graduations. social apps actually provided them with a way to stay connected to their friends and their family. so i think it's a bit more complex than that. that said, i think i'd certainly like for apps like ours to build experiences where parents can actually have some control over the time their children are spending, similar to what we did on messenger kids. parents are welcome to set time
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controls than have an iedi -- edict on how to parent their children. senator sullivan: what do you think of the chinese edict? i know you are not available in china. ms. davis: i'd rather tell my child how much time than have someone else tell me how to parent. senator sullivan: fair enough. i'll move to recess this hearing for a few minutes until the chairman comes back. so ms. davis, if you can just hold on for a few more minutes. the chairman will be back in i think about just a couple minutes. so for now, this hearing stands in recess until the arrival back of the chairman.
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senator blumenthal: [indiscernible] we're back from a brief recess. i'm hopeful that our witness is still online and with us. i was going to offer her an
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opportunity if she has anything to add in conclusion. ms. davis: sorry, senator. was that directed to me? senator blumenthal: yes. ms. davis: really, the only thing i want to add is i look forward to tiktok and others will come. i think it's important for us to hear from companies that have already started providing these types of apps to young people under the age of 13. tiktok, i think, does. youtube. google does. as an industry we are trying to figure out a way to best serve young people that meets the needs of their parents and families. senator blumenthal: i take your point, ms. davis, and tiktok, along with others, have been invited and others will be here. at this point, we're not
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specifying who. but i would emphasize that each company bears its own responsibility. the race to the bottom has to stop. facebook, in fact, has led it. and if facebook can't hold itself accountable, congress must act. the record so far is facebook can't be trusted to hold itself accountable. nothing personal to you. and you have in fact said that some team will disclose, about instagram kids on pause, about potential legal action. these kinds of decisions ultimately, i'm assuming, will be made by mark zuckerberg. but the point is right now, facebook has failed to hold itself accountable, and congress
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and the public must do so. so we are concluding this hearing, and the record will be kept open for a week in case any of my colleagues have written questions. thank you very much, ms. davis. we really appreciate your participating. and we look forward to your responses to the questions that you said you would respond to. thank you very much. this hearing is adjourned. ms. davis: thank you for the opportunity. senator blumenthal: thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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