Graham Blames Zuckerberg for Not Protecting Children/Teens

Graham Blames Zuckerberg for Not Protecting Children/Teens

( – Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg is once again in the spotlight over the social media platform’s alleged failure to protect children and teens from harm. At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on January 31, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) took the Meta CEO to task over the company’s moderation policies and its failure to adequately shield minors from dangerous and inappropriate content.

Graham, who floated the idea of the government regulating social media content at a separate hearing three years ago, came out swinging. “You have blood on your hands,” he said. “You have a product that’s killing people.”

A series of cheers from lawmakers and other attendees, including several victims of sex trafficking, erupted throughout the chamber immediately afterward.

Senator Graham said it was time to repeal Section 230, an area of the law that protects social media platforms from being sued for what their users post. “The bottom line is you can’t be sued. You should be. And these emails would be great for punitive damages.”

Graham was likely influenced by a case of sextortion involving Representative Brandon Guffey’s (R-SC) 17-year-old son in July 2022. The teenager took his own life after being exploited by a group of Nigerian scammers.

Guffey has since launched a lawsuit against Meta over the matter. He accuses the company of engaging in practices aimed at making social media addictive to children and teens.

The loss of Guffey’s son is tragic, but he’s far from the only victim. In fact, several parents who attended the hearing held up pictures of their children as the exchange continued. Many wore ribbons bearing the message, “STOP Online Harms!” that called on lawmakers to pass the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA).

Zuckerberg did not immediately respond to Graham but simply continued to listen as he talked. At one point, Senator Hawley called on him to apologize to the victims. “No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered,” he replied.

However, the Meta CEO also spent a significant amount of time justifying Meta’s current approach. He dismissed the notion that social media threatens mental health entirely, citing a lack of expert evidence, and said that Meta has already implemented over 30 protective tools. Zuckerberg also pledged to continue exploring solutions going forward.

Copyright 2024,