Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, on child safety. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Mark Zuckerberg at a congressional hearing Wednesday that he has “blood on his hands.”
“Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don’t mean it to be so, but you have blood on your hands,” Graham said. “You have a product that’s killing people.”
Sen. @LindseyGrahamSC: "Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don't mean it to be so, but you have blood on your hands. You have a product that's killing people." pic.twitter.com/QPAlUQwIqZ
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 31, 2024
Zuckerberg, who is the CEO of Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, came before the Senate’s judiciary committee on Wednesday for a hearing on “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis,” along with the CEOs of TikTok, X, Discord and Snap.
When Zuckerberg entered the room, parents of dead children held up photos of their kids and hissed at the CEO, according to NBC. Each of the parents say social media platforms contributed to their child’s suicide, exploitation or death by overdose.
Graham said it’s time to repeal Section 230, a portion of a 1990s law which protects social media platforms from liability for content posted by third parties, such as users.
In 2021, the Wall Street Journal published an investigation that alleged that company leaders were aware Instagram can be harmful to young people, particularly girls, but weren’t doing much to prevent it.
Zuckerberg said during his opening statements Wednesday that Meta has introduced new features that encourage people to log off Facebook and Instagram at night.
He said there are no plans to introduce a kids version of Instagram, however, an idea that was floated around back in 2021.
Other tech CEOs were also put in the hot seat at Wednesday’s hearing, including TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, who said TikTok is planning to invest $2 billion in “trust and safety efforts.”
“TikTok is vigilant about enforcing its 13-and-up age policy and offers an experience for teens that is much more restrictive than you and I would have as adults,” Chew said.