Senate Calls for Testimony from Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri

Instagram CEO, Adam Mosseri, will give testimony before Congress on December 6th, in a set of hearings for the platform’s approaches towards teens’ online protection, The New York Times reported.

The testimony will be a follow-up after Senate lawmakers intensified their scrutinizing gaze on the platform concerning how its parent company Meta – previously Facebook – has a detrimental effect on teens’ mental health.

“He’s the top guy at Instagram, and the whole nation is asking about why Instagram and other tech platforms have created so much danger and damage by driving toxic content to children with these immensely powerful algorithms,” Chair of the subcommittee, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

With the rise of Facebook whistleblower’s testimonies against the Big Tech giant, Frances Haugen led the path for Congress to initiate a plan to act regarding the company’s dominant influence on subliminally encouraging self-injurious behaviors in teens specifically young females.

The first session in a long series of hearings took place in September after Haugen unveiled the cover on Meta’s damaging demeanor towards its users. The Senate Committee’s consumer protection subcommittee held its sessions with the tech giant’s global head of safety Antigone Davis in response to The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files.

Throughout the hearings, Davis disputed against the publication’s uncovering that Instagram is dangerous. In a response to the company’s head of safety, Senator Blumenthal called upon Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a letter to testify before the committee to answer to any “inaccurate testimony” given by Davis.

In his letter, Blumenthal gave Zuckerberg the opportunity to rectify the situation on behalf of the giant, stating that the company “provided false or inaccurate testimony to me regarding attempts to internally conceal its research.”

Following Zuckerberg’s call to testify, the Democratic senator extended his invitation to Instagram’s CEO. This will signify Adam Mosseri’s first time to testify before Congress, as the Connecticut Senator uncovered intentions to question the CEO whether the firm is dedicated to un-shielding its ranking and recommendations algorithms.

By doing so, Congress will have the sole power in examining the algorithms and how it promotes harmful content by delivering the technology to experts to provide their insight on the matter.

“Parents across America are deeply disturbed by ongoing reports that Facebook knows that Instagram can cause destructive and lasting harms to many teens and children, especially to their mental health and well-being,” the Senator said in the letter to Mosseri.

“Those parents, and the twenty million teens that use your app, have the right to know the truth about the safety of Instagram,” he added.

If this happens, Congress will be weaponized with the needed evidence to prove its stance towards defending online child safety as it will lead to regulations through legislation.