CEOs of Meta, X, TikTok, Snap, and Discord to Testify Before US Senate on Child Safety

CEOs of Meta, X, TikTok, Snap, and Discord to Testify Before US Senate on Child Safety

On January 31, 2024, some of the tech industry’s major CEOs are set to testify before the US Senate during a hearing focused on online child exploitation. The Senate Judiciary Committee announced that Mark Zuckerberg (Meta), Linda Yaccarino (X, formerly Twitter), Shou Zi Chew (TikTok), Evan Spiegel (Snap), and Jason Citron (Discord) will be part of the proceedings.

Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham issued subpoenas for Yaccarino, Spiegel, and Citron after encountering refusals to appear during previous negotiations. While Zuckerberg and Chew voluntarily agreed to testify, the hearing aims to address the CEOs’ alleged failure to adequately protect children online.

This hearing is part of a broader bipartisan initiative to establish more stringent child safety regulations on the internet. Over the past year, various states have implemented online safety bills with the goal of safeguarding children. Notably, Utah signed a bill in March requiring parental consent for minors to sign up on social platforms, while Louisiana and Mississippi now mandate age verification to access content deemed harmful to children, such as pornography.

The Kids Online Safety Act and COPPA 2.0 are among the child safety bills recently approved by the Senate Commerce Committee, despite facing opposition from privacy advocates. The upcoming Senate hearing reflects the increasing scrutiny and regulatory focus on tech companies to ensure a safer online environment for children.

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