Zuckerberg apologizes for social media’s impact on kids
February 1, 2024
Mark Zuckerberg, on Wednesday, delivered a surprise apology to the families of victims of online child sex abuse in the middle of a heated Senate hearing on Capitol Hill.
In a stunning move, Zuckerberg stood up from his chair and turned to face the back of the room. In the room, parents held up pictures of their children who they said the social media had harmed.
“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through,” said Zuckerberg. Lawmakers grilled him for hours over Meta’s failure to crack down on child predators. And “sextortion” crimes on Facebook and Instagram.
“No one should go through the things that your families have suffered,” Zuckerberg added.
“And this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry-wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”
As the hearing kicked off, Senate committee played a video, in which children spoke about social media users bullying them.
Senators recounted stories of young people taking their own lives after being extorted for money after sharing photos with sexual predators.
“Would you like now to apologise to the victims who have been harmed by your product?” Jose Hawley asked. Hawley said the hearing is on live television.
The 39-year-old tech tycoon responded by rising from his chair and coughing up grovelling mea culpa to the packed room.
“Your product is killing people,” Hawley told Zuckerberg as he argued that Congress should move quickly to revoke Section 230. The section protects social media platforms from liability for content posted by their users.
The Missouri senator also pressed Zuckerberg on whether Meta had plans to compensate, or had already compensated the families of victims who suffered from online exploitation, either financially or through support resources such as counselling.
SOURCE: NY Post