The negative impact of social media on children’s and young adults’ mental health has raised concerns. The CEOs of Meta, TikTok, Snap, Discord, and X are scheduled to testify in front of the US Senate Judiciary Committee on “their failure to protect children online.” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will participate willingly, while Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, Discord CEO Jason Citron, and X CEO Linda Yaccarino will testify after being subpoenaed.
Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham expressed frustration with Snap, Discord, and X’s initial refusal and even acceptance of the subpoenas. US Marshals visited Discord’s offices to serve the document.
The senators also criticized the platforms for wanting a say in policy but not wanting to get involved in discussions. “We’ve known from the beginning that our efforts to protect children online would be met with hesitation from Big Tech. They finally are being forced to acknowledge their failures when it comes to protecting kids. Now that all five companies are cooperating, we look forward to hearing from their CEOs. Parents and kids demand action,” they stated.
The Judiciary Committee has focused on this issue throughout the year, approving bills to force online platforms to take more responsibility in protecting children and be more transparent in their efforts. The hearing with the five tech giants’ CEOs was originally set for December but will now take place on January 31, 2024, at 10 AM ET.