Facebook (FB) - Get Free Report shares extended their recent declines Monday after a former employee accused the social media giant of putting profits over the impact of hate speech during a Sunday night interview on CBS's '60 Minutes'.
Frances Haugen, a former product manager who revealed herself as the whistleblower behind a series of documents leaked to the Wall Street Journal that exposed its role in contributing to a toxic online environment for teen girls, told '60 Minutes' that Facebook applies different rules to high-profile accounts and that the platform played a role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building.
“There were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook,” she said in her first public appearance. “Facebook over and over again chose to optimize for its own interests like making more money.”
Haugen will testify before Senate lawmakers regarding the social media group's influence on children later this week, while her lawyer has said she has shared internal documents with attorneys general in California, Tennessee and Vermont and has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Facebook denied the allegations, stating that "to suggest we encourage bad content and do nothing is just not true ... We continue to make significant improvements to tackle the spread of misinformation and harmful content," said Facebook spokesperson Lena Pietsch.
Facebook shares were marked 5.05% lower in late morning trading Monday to change hands at $325.70 each, a move that extends their one-month decline to around 14.8%.
Facebook earned profits of $3.61 per share over the three months ending in June, a 100% improvement from the same period last year, as group revenues rose 55.6% to just over $29 billion.
Daily active users averaged 1.91 billion over the quarter, up 6.7% from last year, while monthly active users rose 7.4% to 2.9 million.
Looking into the final half of the year, however, Facebook repeated its view that year-over-year total revenue growth will decelerate 'significantly' when compared to the second quarter.
Facebook is expected to publish its third quarter earnings in the first week of November.