After Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before the Senate Commerce Committee Monday, a hearing which focused largely on Facebook’s negative impact on children, GETTR CEO Jason Miller released a statement.
In a press release, Miller said the following:
The world now knows about Big Tech’s secret plans to target kids and draw them into their platforms. It has been shocking, but somehow not surprising, to learn that children, including pre-teen girls, are viewed as mere assets to guarantee future corporate profits rather than as vulnerable young people susceptible to peer pressure and harm on the Internet. They even strategize how to target children in age brackets reaching down to toddlers, and even younger children.
The Big Tech giants prohibit pre-teens from using their platforms, but they clearly target them for recruitment anyway. This is beyond wrong. The moneymaking scheme shows a complete disregard for the safety of children online, is a clear attempt to circumvent the role of parents, and is designed to insert their social media platforms into the formative years of children’s lives for the sake of their own future profit.
GETTR is billed as a free speech alternative to Facebook, which is known for censoring conservatives, and even banning former President Donald J. Trump from the platform completely.
Miller addressed censorship concerns in his statement, too.
“Today we see laid bare the problem with the consolidation of power in the hands of just a few American tech billionaires,” he said. “They have operated with impunity for years while setting the terms of free speech for people around the world. They discriminate against political viewpoints they disapprove of, stifle dissent, and outright ban people who stray from the ‘acceptable’ narrative. They also basically serve as data merchants, selling their users’ information as yet another way to rake in cash.”
During the hearing, Haugen spoke about revelations from a number of internal Facebook documents that she leaked to the Wall Street Journal and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which suggest that Facebook knows, and simply does not care, about the negative mental health ramifications on children who use the social media platform.
Instead, she said, the company focuses giving paid incentives to employees who drive more traffic to the website no matter the cost to the user, a claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly denied before Congress, and in other forums.
During the hearing, Facebook employees, including Zuckerberg, took to social media to defend the company against Haugen’s allegations.
“We care deeply about issues like safety, well-being and mental health,” Zuckerberg said on his own Facebook page. “It’s difficult to see coverage that misrepresents our work and our motives. At the most basic level, I think most of us just don’t recognize the false picture of the company that is being painted.”
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