Graham Blames Zuckerberg for Not Protecting Children/Teens

CEO CALLED OUT at Hearing - Attendees Cheer!

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The supposed inability of the social media site to safeguard minors and teenagers has put Meta creator Mark Zuckerberg back in the limelight. Senate Republicans Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) grilled Meta CEO on the company’s moderation standards and inaction in protecting children from harmful and inappropriate content during a January 31 hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Graham, who floated the idea of the government regulating social media content at a separate hearing three years ago, came out swinging. “You have blood on your hands,” he said. “You have a product that’s killing people.”

Afterwards, the entire chamber erupted in a sequence of cheers from the MPs and other guests, including multiple sex trafficking survivors.

Senator Graham said it was time to repeal Section 230, an area of the law that protects social media platforms from being sued for what their users post. “The bottom line is you can’t be sued. You should be. And these emails would be great for punitive damages.”

A sextortion case that occurred in July 2022 involving the 17-year-old son of Representative Brandon Guffey (R-SC) most certainly impacted Graham. The adolescent committed suicide after falling victim to a group of con artists from Nigeria.

Since then, Guffey has taken legal action by suing Meta. He claims the business is involved in tactics that encourage young people to become addicted to social media.

Tragically, Guffey’s son isn’t the only one who has lost loved ones. As the conversation progressed, a number of parents present at the hearing proudly displayed photographs of their children. Signs reading “STOP Online Harms!” urging legislators to enact the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) were worn by many.

Instead of responding right away, Zuckerberg only listened as Graham spoke. Senator Hawley even went so far as to ask him to apologise to the victims. The tragedies that your family have gone through should not be endured by anyone, he responded.

But Meta’s chief executive officer also spent a good chunk of time explaining why the company is taking this course of action. Citing a dearth of expert evidence, he rejected the idea that social media poses a total threat to mental health and announced that Meta had deployed more than 30 safeguards. Going forward, Zuckerberg also promised to keep looking for answers.

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