Spread the love

Social media bosses questioned in the US Senate on child protection

Photo: Saul Loeb Agence France-Presse Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, seen here during a previous appearance before the House of Representatives in April 2018, will be questioned on Wednesday by the US Senate Judiciary Committee.

Julie Jammot – Agence France-Presse in San Francisco

7:19 a.m.

  • United States

The leaders of Meta (Facebook, Instagram), .

This subject generally brings together elected politicians from both sides and numerous associations who accuse digital platforms of not sufficiently protecting young people, particularly against the risks of sexual exploitation.< /p>

“The abhorrent failure of these companies to eradicate child sexual abuse is an example of a broader and systemic failure to prioritize the safety of children who use their products,” Imran Ahmed, founder of the NGO Center for Countering Digital Hate.

The Judiciary Committee summoned Mark Zuckerberg (Meta), Linda Yaccarino (X), Shou Zi Chew (TikTok), Evan Spiegel (Snap) and Jason Citron (Discord) for a hearing titled “The Giants of tech and the online child sexual abuse crisis.”

“I am proud of the work accomplished by our teams to improve the safety of children online, not only on our services, but also across the Internet,” Mark Zuckerberg plans to declare to senators by way of introduction on Wednesday, d 'after the text of his speech consulted by AFP.

“We have about 40,000 people in total working on security and safety, and we have invested over $20 billion since 2016,” he said.

Also read

  • US states file suit against Meta, accused of harming children's health
  • Meta will hide inappropriate content for teens on Instagram and Facebook

Pedocriminal networks

He said the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recently said Meta goes “above and beyond legal requirements to ensure there are no portions of its network where this type of activity occurs.” .

Social networks regularly announce measures to better regulate the online browsing of minors, without managing to convince observers and authorities.

At the beginning of December, the US state of New Mexico filed a complaint against Meta, accusing its platforms of promoting child crime, from child pornography to recommendation algorithms and criminal solicitations.

In June, a report from Stanford University and the Wall Street Journal determined that Instagram is the leading platform used by networks pedophiles to promote and sell content showing sexual assault on minors.

“Large networks of accounts, which appear to be operated by minors, openly promote the sale of child pornography,” researchers at Silicon Valley University said.

“Parents used to worry about where their children were at 10 p.m. Today, they may be physically present, but we don't know who they spend time with online, or what they are exposed to every day,” Imran Ahmed said in a press release on Tuesday.


X ​​will for its part create a new antenna dedicated to the moderation of the platform , which will recruit around a hundred people to primarily fight against this scourge, according to a press release published Friday.

“X does not have a child-focused business,” noted Joe Benarroch, COO of X, “but it is important that we make these investments to prevent offenders from using our platform for ANY type of distribution or engaging with content that constitutes sexual abuse of minors.”

“Some networks announced new child safety measures last week that are long overdue…” Dick Durbin, Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee, noted Tuesday. But “as these changes are only half measures at best, I welcome the opportunity to question them on what remains to be done.”

The discussions will also certainly focus on the other dangers linked to social networks for adolescents.

At the end of October, more than forty American states filed a complaint against Meta, believing that its platforms harm the “mental and physical health of young people”, citing the risks of addiction, cyber-harassment or eating disorders.

Mark Zuckerberg plans to support a new law “on age verification (by app stores) and parental control over apps used by their children”, which parents are demanding from their wishes, according to him.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116