(USNewsBreak.com) – There has been increasing concern in recent years within the public and among lawmakers about the impact of social media on children and teens. Children have become subject to much more than generations past, specifically in the realm of peer pressure, bullying, and becoming vulnerable to predators. In a recent Senate hearing entitled “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) let loose on Big Tech.
The Senate hearing, held by the Senate Judiciary Committee, took place on Wednesday, January 31. Several heads of major social media companies, including Meta, X, TikTok, Snap, and Discord, testified on the steps their companies are taking to ensure children don’t fall victim. However, Graham was having none of it.
In a statement, the South Carolina senator addressed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly, saying Meta and the other companies “have a product that’s killing people.” Graham went so far as to say they “have blood on [their] hands.” Spectators who attended met his sentiment with a roar of cheers. Graham didn’t end there, though. He called on Congress to “repeal Section 230.” Section 230 is a federal law that has become subject to much debate, as it allows online companies to moderate content according to their own standards. However, many lawmakers believe their practices don’t go far enough, and that kids fall victim far too easily.
— The Hill (@thehill) January 31, 2024
It’s not just Graham speaking out, either. Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) also had his say. He accused Discord of allowing predators to use the platform “to groom, abduct and abuse children,” and alleged that Instagram makes it easy for predators to network. Durbin then said that Snapchat’s method of communication — messages disappearing after 24 hours — helps criminals to “financially sextort young victims.”
The gathered CEOs all discussed their child safety procedures and willingness to work with various entities, including lawmakers and parents, but stopped short of acknowledging a link between the youths’ use of social media and their mental health.
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