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US Congress attacks social media for its influence on minors: Your hands in blood

3 February 2024 20:08 (UTC+04:00)
US Congress attacks social media for its influence on minors: Your hands in blood

The impact of social media on the sexual abuse of minors and the damage to the younger generation due to exposure to these technologies was the main topic of this week's session in the US Congress.

Azernews reprots citing foreign media, that the Senate committee demands answers from social networks, as well as the introduction of changes that will reduce their harmful effects on minors.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, TikTok CEO Shaw Tzu Chu, X CEO Linda Iaccarino, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and Discord messenger founder Jason Citron attended the congressional meeting.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who began his speech with the line "You have blood on your hands," set the session in a combative and emotional mood. In the room were dozens of relatives of minors who have borne the brunt of social media, platforms that have consumed much of the modern childhood experience. Among them were parents of children who have committed suicide because of sexual molestation.

The debate about the harmful effects of social media on minors came to a head in 2021 after Meta employee Frances Haugen released internal documents that revealed the company was aware that Instagram use was harming children but did nothing to remedy the situation.

At this point, lawmakers have not agreed to move forward with legislation aimed at tightening up social media. One of them-removing the immunity they enjoy while being sued for content published on them, which stems from a 1990s ruling that could affect freedom of expression.

"Sexual exploitation of minors on the Internet is a crisis in the United States," said Democratic Senator Dick Durbin, one of the main proponents of regulating social media.

One of the moments that caused the most tension was between Republican Senator Josh Hawley and Mark Zuckerberg. The lawmaker asked him if Meta had ever fired anyone for the damaging effects of its social media sites and if compensation was paid to the affected families. The Facebook founder remained silent in response, and the senator shamed him for making "billions" while his products "kill people."

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