Meta, TikTok And Other Tech CEOs Face Senate Grilling Over Online Child Exploitation “Crisis In America” – Deadline

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, X CEO Linda Yaccarino and different tech trade leaders confronted a grilling from lawmakers at present as they appeared for a landmark Senate listening to on the net exploitation of kids.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) blamed the tech platforms on the outset for permitting the exploitation to proliferate, whereas dismissing the newest efforts the businesses have taken to spice up security.

“They are responsible for many of the dangers our children face online,” Durbin stated, calling it a “crisis in America.”

“Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don’t mean it to be so, but you have blood on your hands. You have a product that is killing people,” stated the highest Republican on the committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), informed Zuckerberg, as he sat on the witness desk.

He known as for the repeal of Section 230, the availability of a 1996 legislation that shielded platforms from legal responsibility for the third celebration content material posted on their websites.

Graham famous that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) had discovered “emails from your company where they warned you about this stuff, and you decided not to hire 45 people that could do a better job of policing this.”

“So the bottom line is, you can’t be sued. You should be, and these emails would be great for punitive damages,” Graham stated.

Zuckerberg stared intently at Graham as he confronted his criticism.

Also showing on the listening to was the CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew; Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel; and Discord CEO Jason Citron.

Durbin stated that Zuckerberg and Chew had been showing on the listening to voluntarily, whereas the others attended after being subpoenaed.

In the background of the listening to, demonstrators held images of kids who’ve been victims of on-line exploitation. The listening to began with a video during which victims informed of being sexually exploited on-line. A mom stared into the digicam and stated that her youngster died from suicide after being exploited on Facebook. Others informed of futile efforts to get platforms to behave. “How many more kids will suffer and die from social media?” one mum or dad requested.

But Congress has taken little motion to restrict the ability on tech corporations, almost six years after Zuckerberg testified solo at a listening to that marked a turning level within the tech trade’s interplay with lawmakers. Although they’ve been on protection on an array of points, together with on different points like antitrust, content material moderation and the affect of overseas actors, laws has stalled out, even on fundamental reforms like privateness.

Major cable information networks carried parts of the listening to, together with Zuckerberg’s opening assertion.

Chou stated, “I know that the issues that we are discussing today are horrific and the nightmare for every parent.”

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