FTC reportedly investigating Facebook over disclosures about its internal research

The agency is exploring whether Facebook may have violated a 2019 settlement over privacy concerns, reports The Wall Street Journal.

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The US Federal Trade Commission is reportedly looking into whether Facebook's own research documents show the social network violated a 2019 settlement over privacy concerns, for which the company paid a $5 billion fine. 

FTC officials have begun to look into recently disclosed internal research that outline how much Facebook knew about its platforms' harms, according to a report Wednesday from The Wall Street Journal

The research documents were leaked by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who has accused the social network of putting profits over people. The documents were the foundation for a series by The Wall Street Journal that reported, among other things, the company ignored research about how Instagram can harm teen girls and that an algorithm change to improve interactions on the platform actually made users "angrier."

Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, supplied the documents to the Securities and Exchange Commission before testifying at Congress earlier this month.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company is "always ready to answer regulators' questions and will continue to cooperate with government inquiries."

Facebook has previously said that the internal documents are being misrepresented and paint a "false picture" of the company. A Facebook spokesperson added that the company is "on track to spend more than $5 billion this year alone on safety and security and have over 40,000 people to do one job: keep people safe on Facebook."

The FTC declined to comment. 

Watch this: Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies at UK Parliament