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January 31, 2024: CEOs of Meta, X, Discord, TikTok and Snap testify before Senate Judiciary Committee – latest news

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The Senate Judiciary Committee’s grilling of four social media executives produced some notable moments. Here are a few:

Zuckerberg, Spiegel personally apologize to families: Meta CEO Zuckerberg stood to apologize to the families in the hearing room. “I’m sorry for everything you have all been through,” he said. “No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry-wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”

Mark Zuckerberg spoke to victims and their family members as he testified during the US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis.” Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel also apologized to families whose children have died after they purchased drugs on Snapchat. “I’m so sorry that we have not been able to prevent these tragedies,” Spiegel said, before detailing some of the efforts the company takes to protect young users.

(L-R) Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X during the hearing today.
(L-R) Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X during the hearing today. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

“The dark side” of social media products “is too great”: Social media companies have created products that have an upside, but they also have a dark side that is “too great to live with,” Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday while grilling chief executives of four such companies. Until social media companies are sued for the damage they are doing, Graham warned that there will be no change.

Judiciary Committee Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on online child sexual exploitation at the U.S. Capitol today.
Judiciary Committee Ranking Member U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on online child sexual exploitation at the U.S. Capitol today. Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Hating social media companies is a rare unifying force on Capitol Hill: Wednesday’s hearing again demonstrates the breadth of criticism for social media companies among lawmakers, a rare bipartisan topic on Capitol Hill. Despite both parties’ appetite for going after tech platforms, however, Congress has yet to pass meaningful legislation to regulate social media companies. Most of the action has taken place in state legislatures and in the courts, which have become battlegrounds for new policies including age minimums for social media.

(L-R) Jason Citron, CEO of Discord; Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap; Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok; Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X; and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, watched a video of victims before testifying at the US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
(L-R) Jason Citron, CEO of Discord; Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap; Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok; Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X; and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, watched a video of victims before testifying at the US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Read the full rundown of key hearing moments here.



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