Social Media CEOs Face Questions on Capitol Hill
The CEOs of TikTok, Discord, Snapchat, X (formerly Twitter), and Meta appeared in Washington to face questioning from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Will this lead to any significant change?
From The Epoch Times. Leading social media company CEOs faced probing questions over their safety policies on Capitol Hill during a Jan. 31 hearing on online child sexual exploitation.
The session, held by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, grilled TikTok Inc. CEO Shou Chew, Discord Inc. CEO Jason Citron, Snap Inc. CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel, X Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino, and Meta Platforms Inc. founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the harms the committee alleges the leading social media and online communications platforms are allowing to befall children in the United States.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the committee’s chair, noted that only Mr. Chew and Mr. Zuckerberg appeared under their own volition. The remaining witnesses had to be subpoenaed to testify.
After hearing opening remarks from Mr. Durbin and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the committee’s ranking member, that criticized the existing laws that prevent online companies from facing civil liability for the actions of the users of their platforms, the CEOs offered a defense of their platforms.
Mr. Citron, who oversees Discord, the instant messaging and voice-over-internet social platform … touted the money Discord spent to acquire an artificial intelligence tool aimed at eliminating bad actors. …
Mr. Zuckerberg [said] Meta has about 40,000 people working on safety and security. Moreover, it has spent more than $20 billion on the issue since 2016, he said. …
Online Child Exploitation
Mr. Spiegel said Snap’s main product, Snapchat, is transparent about letting users know that images and videos can be saved from its disappearing message app. Additionally, it proactively scans messages and reports abusive accounts. Its interventions, he said, led to more than 1,000 arrests in 2023. …
TikTok, Mr. Chew said, has more than 40,000 employees globally committed to trust and safety and plans to invest more than $2 billion in this wing of the company. …
Only Ms. Yaccarino said X is committed to being part of a federal solution to the issue of online child exploitation. Since the company formerly known as Twitter was acquired by Elon Musk and rebranded as X Corp., she said the level of enforcement substantially increased. …
Mr. Graham asked the witnesses whether they could support any of the proposed bipartisan bills the committee had approved to force the technology companies to face civil liability they currently don’t deal with. None of them directly voiced support for the bills.
“If you’re waiting on these guys to solve the problem, we’re going to die waiting,” Mr. Graham said. “Nothing will change until the courtroom door is open to victims of social media.”
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(Excerpt from The Epoch Times. Photo Credit: dole777 on Unsplash)
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