TTP Research Featured in Senate Facebook Whistleblower Hearing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2021
Contact: Michael Clauw, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), at today’s Senate Facebook whistleblower hearing, featured a Tech Transparency Project (TTP) report showing that Facebook allows harmful ads targeted at teens to run on its platform. TTP, a research initiative of the Campaign for Accountability (CfA), released the report last week. It reveals that Facebook continues to allow ads promoting alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, and gambling to target teens as young as 13. The report mirrors the results of a previous TTP investigation in May. Both in the initial test, and in this month’s repeat, all ads were approved quickly—some of them in less than an hour.
Lee asked Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen about whether Antigone Davis, Facebook’s head of global safety, was incorrect when she testified last week that: “There are categories of ads that we don’t allow for young people … tobacco, alcohol, weight loss products.” All three of those topics featured in TTP test ads that were recently approved by Facebook.
Additionally, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg questioning the Davis testimony about teen ads and demanding an explanation about the apparent inconsistencies between Facebook’s commitments and its actual practices. During her testimony, Davis also said that “we actually don’t allow weight loss ads to be shown to people under the age of 18 already,” despite TTP’s research indicating otherwise.
Campaign for Accountability Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith said, “We thank Senators Lee and Markey for highlighting Facebook’s inability to protect teens from harmful advertising. If Facebook and Instagram refuse to invest in the resources necessary to create an ad approval process that can actually enforce their own, stated policies, then harmful ads will continue to be shown to teens, as our report shows is happening now.”
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.