WASHINGTON, DC – Today, The Tech Oversight Project issued the following statement in the aftermath of a disturbing new whistleblower report showing that despite employee warnings Mark Zuckerberg and Meta’s executive team ignored egregious harm to minors. The warnings showed that children were being exposed to widespread advances of a sexual nature from adults, and in response, Meta made it more difficult for minors to report harassment and developed their own deceptive metrics to obscure the real scope of harm young people were experiencing.
“These revelations are equally shocking and unsurprising for a company that time and time again shows willful hostility and negligence toward protecting children and teens on their platforms. We now know that Mark Zuckerberg, Adam Mosseri, and Sheryl Sandberg were personally notified years ago by their own employees about rampant sexual harassment of young users, and rather than solving those issues, they decided to make it harder for minors to report unwanted contact and juked the stats to obscure the problem. Frankly, it is sickening and proves how morally bankrupt Zuckerberg and Meta have become,” said Sacha Haworth, Executive Director of the Tech Oversight Project. “As a mother, I’m angry for the millions of children who experienced pain and harassment because social media executives prioritized profits over children’s safety and well-being, and my heart breaks for the internet my children stand to inherit. We cannot sit idly by on the sidelines and wait for things to just get better. We need to act now. That’s why we need to pass bills like the Kids Online Safety Act and Age-Appropriate Design Code to force companies like Meta to protect children and teens and treat them with the dignity they deserve.”