The name of the person in Senator Josh Hawley’s crosshairs is Steve Satterfield. Satterfield is facing a grilling because of internal documents published by The Wall Street Journal from last week that indicate the veracity of psychological harm impacting teen girls who use the Instagram platform.
In front of a Congressional committee, Facebook staff weren’t willing to publish what research they did on the subject, themselves.
"Will you make the research public?" asked Senator Josh Hawley.
"Senator. Again, generally the way we approach to research is that we keep it confidential to encourage free and frank discussion about it, internally," responds Satterfield.
"... Sounds like a no to me," responded Hawley as the Facebook VP continued to babble on. "I haven’t been in the Senate that long. But that SOUNDS like that’s a no," fires back Hawley.
"Let me try that again. You’ve already done the research. This research is completed. You’ve done it. You already know the results. You know the data. You’ve actively misled congress for years now. You’ve deliberately misled senators as recently as just a month ago, Senator Blumenthal was just telling… putting on the record. You have the research, will you make it public? Yes or no."
"Senator, respectfully I strongly reject those characterizations. The issue of greater transparency around research…"
"Let’s…. Let’s try answering my question. Will you release the research? Yes or no?"
"Senator, it's something we’re looking into. How to provide greater transparency with appropriate context around the research."
"Right what would the appropriate context be, exactly? What’s the context for thirty-two percent of teen girls saying that they feel worse when they use Instagram? Is there context I’m missing there? What is it that parents need to know? What’s the context, exactly? I’m intrigued by that statement."
"Well Senator I think it’s a broader view of what the potential impact of what services can be on…. On folks…."