Weeks later after the Facebook’s ongoing issue about the impact of social media on youngsters, the Executives from TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube were next. On Tuesday, they were also grilled by Senators, they were asked about what steps their platforms have been taking to protect their underage users, the Facebook’s Executive also had to go through the same.
Social Media apps such as TikTok, YouTube, Snap have been used to harm kids and they have been used to promote destructive acts such as vandalism in schools, deadly viral challenges, bullying, eating disorders and manipulative influencer marketing, says the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate Commerce subcommittee on Consumer Protection.
“In the weeks leading up to this hearing, I’ve heard from parents, from teachers, from mental health professionals who are all wondering the same thing: How long are we going to let this continue?” Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn said.
“You cannot trust Big Tech with your kids,” Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.
The TikTok and Snap executives showed humility and acknowledged the need to do more to protect their platforms.
TikTok’s VP and head of public policy, Michael Beckerman, said it is working to “keep its platform safe and create age appropriate experiences” but added “we do know trust must be earned.”
“We’re seeking to earn trust through a higher level of action, transparency and accountability, as well as the humility, to learn and improve,” Beckerman said.
Snap’s VP of global public policy, Jennifer Stout, said the company is working on new tools for parents to better monitor how their children use the app.
“We have a moral responsibility to take into account the best interests of our users and everything we do — and we understand that there is more work to be done as we look to the future,” Stout said. “We believe that regulation is necessary, but given the different speeds at which technology develops … regulation alone can’t get the job done.”
She added: “Technology companies must take responsibility to protect the communities they serve. If they don’t, the government must act to hold them accountable.”
Executives from TikTok and Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, testified on Capitol Hill for the first time on Tuesday. Despite being smaller than Facebook, the platforms are seen as particularly appealing to younger users.