Meta Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg has apologized to families who have alleged that children have been harmed by social media. Zuckerberg apologizes after participating in a US Senate hearing. The hearing was hotly debated.
Zuckerberg is leading two popular social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. Addressing the families of the victims, he said, ‘What happened to them, no one should go through it.’
In addition to the meta-chief Zuckerberg, the heads of TikTok, Snapchat, X and Discord participated in the US Senate inquiry. They had a question-and-answer session with senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties for about four hours.
US lawmakers asked tech execs including Mark Zuckerberg on cross-examination about what steps social media has taken to protect children online. Such cross-examination of senators by influential tech chiefs is rare.
Zuckerberg and TikTok CEO Shao Ji Chiu voluntarily participated in the interrogation. However, the CEOs of Snapchat, X and Discord initially refused to participate in the interrogation. Later, an order was issued by the US government to appear for their interrogation.
After that, five social media CEOs participated in the Senate’s interrogation in front of the victims’ families. These families complain that their children have harmed themselves or taken their own lives due to content on social media.
However, the issue of protection against online sexual exploitation of children dominates the cross-examination. Meta Chief Zuckerberg has to face tough questions and answers. Before this, he has faced the questioning of the US Congress eight times.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz showed Zuckerberg an Instagram prompt at one point in this year’s cross-examination. It warns users against viewing child sexual abuse content. But it also asked, ‘Do you still want to see the results?’ Ted Cruz asked, ‘What did you (Zuckerberg) think about it?’
In response, Zuckerberg said, “The main reason behind this is to direct them (users) to something that might be helpful instead of blocking them outright.” Still, Zuckerberg promised to “look into the matter personally.”
In response to a question from Republican Senator Josh Hawley, Zuckerberg apologized to the families of the victims sitting behind. He stood up and looked back, then said, ‘The situation you are all facing is terrible. I am sorry for that.
Zuckerberg also said, “No one should have to go through what your family members are going through.”
In the cross-examination, the CEO of TikTok was asked whether his company has shared the information of US users with the Chinese government. In response, Shao Ji Chiu denied the allegations.
Shao Ji Chiu said, ‘I myself have three children. As a father, I understand that what we are discussing today is terrible for a family and a nightmare for every parent.’
The TikTok CEO also revealed that his own three children do not use TikTok. This is because Shao Ji Chiu’s family lives in Singapore. There are restrictions on its use by children in the country.
According to the BD prothomalo