During a heated Senate hearing on internet child safety, Mark Zuckerberg was accused of being responsible for harm and wrongdoing, with some even claiming he has "blood on his hands".

During a heated Senate hearing on internet child safety, Mark Zuckerberg was accused of being responsible for harm and wrongdoing, with some even claiming he has “blood on his hands”.

During a congressional hearing on Wednesday, lawmakers criticized Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and four other social media company leaders for their inadequate efforts in protecting children on the internet.

The Senate Judiciary Committee began their hearing by playing video testimonies of individuals who were sexually exploited on Facebook, Instagram, and X. Senator Lindsey Graham addressed Zuckerberg, accusing him of having “blood on his hands.”

During the packed hearing, Graham, a Republican representative from South Carolina, received applause and cheers for his statement: “Your product is causing fatalities.”

In his opening statement, Durbin stated that individuals who extort young victims for financial gain are engaging in criminal behavior.


During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. on January 31, 2024, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, issues an apology to families who believe their children were harmed by using Facebook.

Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The chief executive officers, including Jason Citron of Discord, emphasized their commitment to safeguarding children and promised to collaborate with legislators, parents, non-governmental organizations, and law enforcement to protect underage individuals. Meta disclosed that it allocated $5 billion towards safety and security measures in 2023, while TikTok announced its intention to allocate $2 billion towards the issue in 2024.

and said, “I’m sorry to the victims.”

When challenged by Missouri Republican Josh Hawley, Zuckerberg apologized to the victims in the room by standing up, turning around, and saying, “I’m sorry.” is not

Informing those sitting behind him that their encounter is not satisfactory.

This is one of the reasons why Meta has put in a great deal of effort to ensure that no one experiences the same hardships that your families have endured.

Mark Zuckerberg refused to agree to Senator Hawley’s proposal of creating a fund to compensate victims.

The leader of Meta consistently denied any connection between Facebook and the mental health of teenagers, stating that “we need to consider the evidence, and most of it does not support that claim.” However, during a subsequent discussion on the same subject, Zuckerberg acknowledged that “this does not negate the fact that some individuals may struggle with mental health issues.”

The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, has emphasized the strict implementation of their policy to prohibit children under 13 from using their app. X’s (previously Twitter) CEO, Linda Yaccarino, has also stated that their company does not target minors.

Parents from Chicago attending a Senate Judiciary hearing regarding the safety of social media.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel expressed his apologies to parents whose children experienced overdoses from fentanyl due to purchasing drugs on Snapshot. He acknowledged that their efforts to prevent these tragedies have been inadequate and mentioned that Snap actively blocks drug-related search terms and collaborates with law enforcement.

Advocates for children’s health assert that social media companies have continuously failed to safeguard minors.

According to Zamaan Qureshi, co-chair of Design It For Us, a youth-led group promoting safer social media, companies should prioritize safety and privacy over revenue when making important decisions. These companies have had previous chances to prioritize these issues but have failed to do so. Therefore, independent regulation is necessary.

Dozens of states are currently suing Meta, claiming that it intentionally creates features on Instagram and Facebook that foster addiction among children and fails to protect them from potential dangers online.

Recently, internal communication within Meta executives, made public by Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s office, reveals requests from Nick Clegg, the president of global affairs, and others for Mark Zuckerberg to increase hiring in order to improve overall “wellbeing” within the company. This request was prompted by growing concerns about the impact on youth mental health.

An increasing amount of legislators are advocating for actions to limit the dissemination of child pornography on the internet and to hold technology platforms responsible for improving the protection of minors. The meeting on Wednesday is a step towards passing laws, following a lack of action from Congress in regulating social media corporations.

At the hearing, Spiegel expressed his support for a federal legislation that would hold apps and social platforms accountable for promoting harmful content to minors.

Yaccarino expressed her backing for the Stop CSAM Act, a measure that would enable survivors of child exploitation to take legal action against tech companies.

Instead of discussing TikTok’s rules, a few Republican legislators accused Chew of showing support for China.

“Is there a fear of losing employment by speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party?” inquired Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas who hails from Singapore but spent five years living in China.

This report includes contributions from The Associated Press.

Kate Gibson

Source: cbsnews.com