All hell broke loose after this one GOP Senator accused Mark Zuckerberg of having “blood on his hands”

Feb 7, 2024

Leftist billionaire and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently appeared before a Senate Committee.

Things didn’t go well for the data-mining maverick.

And all hell broke loose after this one GOP Senator accused Mark Zuckerberg of having “blood on his hands.”

In a recent Congressional hearing, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and four other social media bosses were reprimanded by lawmakers for not doing enough to safeguard kids online.

Sexually exploited by a product that is killing people

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing opened with disturbing videos of people describing how they have been sexually exploited on Facebook, Instagram, and X.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) pointedly told Zuckerberg that he had “blood on his hands.”

“You have a product that’s killing people,” Graham said to loud applause and cheers from many of those in attendance at the packed hearing.

Even Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) blasted Zuckerberg and the other social media owners for failing to protect children from being sexually exploited online.

“Discord has been used to groom, abduct, and abuse children. Meta’s Instagram helped connect and promote a network of pedophiles; Snapchat’s disappearing messages have been co-opted by criminals who financially sextort young victims,” Durbin said in his opening remarks.

The social media CEOs all attempted to tout their child safety procedures and vowed to work with lawmakers, parents, nonprofits, and law enforcement to further protect minors. 

Meta claims that the company spent $5 billion on safety and security in 2023 alone.

And TikTok said it now plans to spend $2 billion in 2024 on the important issue. 

But the Senators on the Committee were having none of it.

Missouri Republican Josh Hawley even demanded that Mark Zuckerberg apologize to the victims of Meta who were in the room. 

But instead, Zuckerberg stood up, turned around, and told those seated behind him that their experience is why Meta had invested so much “to make sure nobody has to go through the types of things your families have had to suffer.”

Not only did Zuckerberg refuse to apologize, but he also notably declined to commit to Hawley’s suggestion that he set up a victim’s compensation fund for those harmed by Meta.

Denying that a problem even exists

Zuckerberg repeatedly denied there is any link between Facebook and teen mental health, saying that “it’s important to look at the science, and the bulk does not support that.” 

Later, while speaking to the same topic, Zuckerberg said that “it doesn’t mean individual people don’t have issues.” 

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said TikTok is diligent in enforcing its policy of banning children under 13 from using the app, despite evidence to the contrary.

Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of Elon Musk’s X (formerly known as Twitter), said that the social media company does not cater to minors. 

Though Zuckerberg refused to apologize, Evan Spiegel, the chief executive at Snapchat, did apologize to parents whose kids overdosed on fentanyl after buying drugs on Snapchat. 

“I’m so sorry that we have not been able to prevent these tragedies,” Spiegel said. 

He also added that Snapchat now blocks search terms linked to drugs and is working with law enforcement on the problem.

But child health advocates say social media companies have repeatedly and spectacularly failed to take concrete actions to protect minors.

“When you’re faced with really important safety and privacy decisions, the revenue in the bottom line should not be the first factor that these companies are considering,” Zamaan Qureshi, co-chair of Design It For Us, a youth-led coalition advocating for safer social media said. “These companies have had opportunities to do this before they failed to do that. So independent regulation needs to step in.”

Meta is currently being sued by dozens of states that claim it deliberately designs features on Instagram and Facebook to get children addicted to it.

The suit also claims that they have failed to protect children from online predators. 

And a growing number of lawmakers from both parties are urging Zuckerberg and the other social media bosses to take immediate measures to help stop the spread of child sexual abuse images online.

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