Facebook is going back to Capitol Hill for another grilling from lawmakers.
Facebook’s global security chief Antigone Davis may face harsh questioning from senators on Thursday morning about Instagram’s impact on teens, addressing allegations that Facebook has known for years that its photo-sharing app has caused mental and physical abuse. caused emotional harm.
The hearing, which begins at 10 p.m., is the first of two that the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee will maintain on Facebook’s impact on young people. The second, on Tuesday, will be with a whistleblower who has shared information about Facebook’s research on teens.
The hearing was called this month after The Wall Street Journal published a series of articles about internal research on Facebook. One article reported that, according to Facebook’s findings, one in three teens said Instagram made their body image issues worse. Among teens who have suicidal thoughts, 13 percent of British users and 6 percent of American users said they could discover those thoughts on Instagram.
On Wednesday evening, Facebook released two slide decks from research cited by The Journal. The company commented heavily on the slides, at times disputing or re-disputing the accuracy and intent of the research reports. The company said in its slides that several teens reported positive experiences on Instagram, including that the app helped with mental health at times.
Lawmakers have criticized the company and its executives for hiding the research, which appears to contradict public statements from Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, and Instagram’s executive in-charge Adam Mosseri. The two have long dismissed warnings that Instagram – through filters that can enhance images and a “Like” button that can be used as a gauge of popularity – has created a frightening trend for younger users. created the atmosphere and made many teenagers feel bad about themselves.
This week, Mr Mosseri announced that Facebook would be halting plans to release a version of Instagram aimed at elementary and middle school children.
Mr Mosseri has argued that the journal article on Instagram took the research out of context, adding that the number of adolescents in the study was “significantly small”. He has said that many teens report positive experiences on Instagram.
Ms Davis, who has led security at Facebook for seven years, is expected to reiterate that message at the hearing. The company has defended the idea of an app for kids like YouTube Kids, saying it could offer more robust security and privacy features for young children than the main Instagram app.
“From turning a blind eye to the negative impacts of its platforms on teen mental health, to the inability to police for trafficking, domestic slavery and other harmful content, Facebook,” Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, a Republican ranking in the Consumer Protection Subcommittee, said in a statement. Has a lot.”
Amazon has settled with two of its most prominent internal critics, halting public hearings over allegations that the company illegally fired the pair, lawyers for the parties told an administrative judge on Wednesday.
Former employees, Emily Cunningham and Maran Costa, said A statement said Amazon must pay their back wages and “post notices to all of its technical and warehouse workers nationwide that Amazon cannot fire workers for organizing and exercising their rights.” ” He called the agreement “a victory for the defense of workers’ rights”.
couple has said he was fired last year because he publicly pushed the company to downplay its impact on climate change and address concerns about its warehouse workers. Amazon says former employees repeatedly broke internal policies.
“We have reached a mutual agreement that addresses the legal issues in this matter and welcomes the resolution of this matter,” Amazon spokesman Jose Negrete said on Wednesday.
The agreement came at a high-wire moment for Amazon, which has promised to be “earth’s best employer” and a tight labor market in the United States by hiring 40,000 corporate and tech workers and 125,000 warehouse workers. I am looking.
In 2018, Ms. Costa and Ms. Cunningham, who worked as designers at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, were part of a small group of employees who publicly called on the company to do more to address its climate impact. inspired. He channeled his efforts into an organization, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, and helped get more than 8,700 of Amazon’s affiliates to support its efforts.
Over time, Ms. Cunningham and Ms. Costa broadened their opposition. When Amazon told them they violated their external communications policy by speaking publicly about the business, their group organized 400 employees to speak up, too, to make a point for intentionally violating the policy. .
At the start of the pandemic, they announced an internal program for warehouse workers to talk to technical workers about the safety conditions of their workplace. Soon after, Amazon fired both women. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, wrote to Amazon expressing concern over potential retaliation, and Tim Bray, an Internet pioneer and former vice president of Amazon’s cloud computing group, resigned in protest.
This spring, lawyers for the National Labor Relations Board said they found merit in Ms. Costa and Ms. Cunningham’s allegations that they were fired in retaliation for their organizing. The agency’s Seattle office then brought a case against Amazon, stating that the company “selectively and unequivocally implemented its face-to-face neutral external communications and solicitation policies to prohibit employees from engaging in protected, substantive activities.” To be.”
The hearing, which was to begin on Tuesday morning, got delayed due to a settlement between the two sides.
The matter is one of several tussles with the company’s labor board since the start of the pandemic. Most notably, in August, an NLRB hearing officer recommended that the agency throw a union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., finding that Amazon’s “conduct required the laboratory to conduct a fair election.” intervened in the situation.” Amazon denies any interference and has vowed to appeal if the regional office of the Labor Board agrees with the recommendation and formally reverses the election, which rejected the union.
The delta variant of the coronavirus in Vietnam is the second largest supplier of apparel and footwear to the United States after China, highlighting the unequal distribution of vaccines globally and the dangers of new outbreaks to the world’s economy, Sapna Maheshwari and Patricia Cohen report for The New York Times.
With the holiday season fast approaching, many U.S. retailers are anticipating delays and shortages of goods, as well as high prices associated with labor and already skyrocketing shipping costs. Nike cut its sales forecast last week, citing a loss of 10 weeks of production in Vietnam since mid-July and a phased resumption in October. Everlane said it was facing delays of four to eight weeks.
The densely packed industrial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s virus epicenter, has experienced a series of increasingly stringent lockdowns, with many factories temporarily closing in July. This paralyzed business activity and increased tensions in a strained global supply chain. Although new cases have begun to decline, the government has extended the lockdown until the end of September, as it struggles to vaccinate its residents.
American companies are looking outside Vietnam, often returning to Chinese factories they previously worked in or finding partners in other countries that are not in the middle of the boom.
Whether they will have enough time to shift before the holidays is questionable. “September is a bad time to turn things around,” said Gordon Hanson, an economist and professor of urban policy at Harvard Kennedy School.
Retailers are already trying to prepare customers. L.L. Bean is warning about holiday shipping delays and shortages and urging early purchases. Read article →
The economy has begun to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but millions still haven’t returned to work. Some are searching but can’t find job. Others cannot work because of child care or other responsibilities. Still others say the pandemic has prompted them to rethink how they prioritize their careers.
What is keeping you on edge right now? How are you getting on financially without a steady paycheck? How has your time away from work changed your life now and in the future?
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