As Frances Haugen took her seat in an opulent Victorian-style room in London’s Houses of Parliament on Monday, she remarked that the surroundings were much grander than those in Washington, where the Facebook whistleblower had given evidence to Senators two weeks earlier. One member of the panel of British lawmakers whom she was there to testify before responded that the small room, decorated with ruby-red wallpaper and grand paintings, had been chosen for precisely that purpose: COVID-19 restrictions meant the hearing was closed off to the general public and most journalists—so there was no need to hold it in the drab office building across the road, where evidence sessions usually accommodate a larger audience. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Haugen’s stop in London was the first on an extensive European tour planned for November, in which the whistleblower will meet lawmakers from across the continent who are drafting laws to place new restrictions on Facebook and other Big Tech companies.

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