Rep. Anna Eshoo Pushes Subpoena of Facebook Documents

Anna Eshoo
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) (Image credit: N/A)

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), longtime member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, is asking the Democrat-controlled panel to subpoena documents from Facebook.

That call comes following a hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee during which Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, armed with internal research, said the company puts profit over the mental health of its users, and knows it is doing so.

“Frances Haugen courageously exposed what we've long suspected: Facebook has known the harm caused by their platform and has done nothing about it,” Eshoo said. “The Energy and Commerce Committee must subpoena all documents from Facebook related to Ms. Haugen's testimony and her SEC whistleblower complaints, particularly those related to the mental health of children, COVID-19, election misinformation, algorithmic amplification and targeted advertising. Ms. Haugen’s disclosures are highly instructive to our legislative process and any frivolous lawsuits or other retaliation against her would be highly problematic.”

Senate Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Protection Subcommittee chairman Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also said at the hearing that his committee would do all it could to prevent any retaliation against Haugen. Facebook has said she only worked for the company briefly and not on the issues — the protection of young people online — before the committee.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.