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US Senate grilled social media giants over lack of child saftey on online platforms

01 February, 2024 20:13

The US Senate Judiciary Committee testified social media giants Meta’s (Facebook – Instagram), Discord, X, Snap and TikTok bosses for protecting children online.

The CEO of Meta platforms Mark Zuckerberg testified along with X CEO Linda Yaccarino, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew and Discord CEO Jason Citron.

In the US senate the lawmakers and parents grow increasingly concerned about the effects of social media on young people’s lives. The online safety legislation currently going through US Congress.

The hearing began with recorded testimony from kids and parents whose children were exploited on social media and lost their lives by suicide. The families held up pictures of their dead kids in the hearing.

Mark Zuckerberg was invited to apologise to the victims families sitting behind him.

“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through. No one should go through the things that your families have suffered,” Zuckerberg said, adding that Meta continues to invest and work on “industry-wide efforts” to protect children.

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said TikTok is vigilant about enforcing its policy barring children under 13 from using the app. CEO Linda Yaccarino said X, formerly Twitter, doesn’t cater to children.

At one point, Republican Senator Ted Cruz asked, “Mr Zuckerberg, what the hell were you thinking?” when he showed the tech boss an Instagram prompt that warns users they may be about to see child sexual abuse material, but asks if they would like to “see the results anyway”.


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