Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised to families who say their children have been harmed by social media during a fiery hearing in the US Senate.
Mr Zuckerberg – who runs Instagram and Facebook – turned to them and said, “no-one should go through” what they had. He and the bosses of TikTok, Snap, X and Discord were questioned for almost four hours by senators from both parties.
Lawmakers wanted to know what they were doing to protect children online.
Mr Zuckerberg and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew voluntarily agreed to testify – but the heads of Snap, X (formerly Twitter) and Discord initially refused and were sent government-issued subpoenas.
Behind the five tech bosses sat families who said their children had self-harmed or killed themselves as a result of social media content.
They made their feelings known throughout, hissing when the CEOs entered and applauding when lawmakers asked tough questions. While the hearing mostly focused on the protection of children from online sexual exploitation, the questions varied widely as the senators took advantage of having five powerful executives there under oath.
TikTok’s Mr Chew was asked whether his company shared US users’ data with the Chinese government, which he denied.