Mark Zuckerberg apologizes to parents in Senate, "I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through"
Congress debates new law to protect children online (KOSA) and calls on heads of major tech giants.
Hearings of the biggest
Senate debates new law to protect children online - KOSA (Kids Online Safety Act). For this purpose, he invited to the hearing executives of major social media companies. Those questioned were Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, TikTok CEO Shou Chew, X CEO Linda Yaccarino, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel, and Discord CEO Jason Citron.
Also on the Senate floor were parents of children who committed suicide due to online harassment.
The hearing was about online child sexual abuse, called "Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis." Many experts and parents accuse the Meta director of Instagram of failing to protect the youngest on social media.
- My son Riley died from suicide after being sexually exploited on Facebook - said mother Mary Rodee - said mother Mary Rodee as she held up a photo of her son, who in 2021 killed himself just six hours after a predator coerced him into sharing explicit images online and then blackmailed him.
- The algorithms that drive Instagram and TikTok nearly killed my daughter Mariam. Curious about healthy eating, social media sucked her into a black hole of dangerous content like how to eat less than 500 calories a day or challenges to prove extreme thinness - said Naveen Radwan, Mariam’s mother.
During the Senate debate, the Met director apologized to victims' parents - I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through (...) It’s terrible. No one should have to go through what your families have suffered - Zuckerberg said when Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., pressured him, inquiring if he would directly apologize to the parents.
KOSA: A new law against cyber-bulling?
Online harassment is a growing problem. All studies indicate that the problem will grow. According to "Find Law", in 2016, 73% of students reported being bullied at school at least once in their lifetime. The percentage of students who reported being victims of cyberbullying in their lifetime more than doubled between 2010 and 2021. In 2019, it was estimated that 0.4% of the U.S. population aged 16 and above, which equates to 936,310 individuals, had encountered cyberstalking within the previous year. Furthermore, a 2017 survey revealed that over 40% of American adults reported having faced online harassment. Lawmakers' response to this epidemic is to be a new law (KOSA).
Source: Politico, Find Law, NBC News