What Haugen’s revelations say about Facebook’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in particular “deserves more attention,” Tye later said.
Her disclosures that Facebook’s internal research found its products cause harm in ways the platform has failed to meaningfully address has ushered in a reckoning over the company’s conduct. And it has drawn the ire of policymakers and regulators around the globe, including on Capitol Hill, where Haugen testified Tuesday and may be called to provide additional testimony.
In another sign that Facebook’s woes may be ballooning, Tye said his legal team has seen a major uptick in outreach from workers in the tech industry who could become whistleblowers.
“I can say that we’ve gotten a surge of inquiries since Sunday night,” Tye said.
He added, “A lot of increase doesn’t translate into a lot of cases or disclosures necessarily. Every case is individual, but for sure, we’ve got lots of increase.”
Haugen, who first disclosed her identity as a whistleblower during a prime-time television interview Sunday night, has seen her profile grow exponentially since. And the reach of influence of her revelations is quickly spreading around the globe.
Tye said Haugen and her legal team have been in contact with the Federal Trade Commission, the European Parliament, the French government and the British parliament, in addition to filing complaints against Facebook with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
“There’s a lot of interest in Europe, and we’re hopeful they’ll be able to respond effectively,” he said.
Haugen’s remarks about how Facebook contributed to Jan. 6 have also piqued the interest of lawmakers on the House panel investigating the insurrection. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), one of the panel members, tweeted Monday that the committee will need to hear from Haugen.
“I’ve already been in touch with one member of the January 6 committee personally,” Tye said.