San Francisco: Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised to families at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on kids’ online safety in the US.
When Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) pressed Zuckerberg to apologise to families who attended the hearing, calling attention to kids who were targeted by predators online, Zuckerberg offered his apology.
“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through,” he told the families in attendance at the hearing late on Wednesday.
“No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer,” the Meta CEO added.
During the hearing, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel informed that 20 million teenagers use Snapchat in the US and that around 200,000 parents use its Family Center supervision controls.
He also shared that approximately 400,000 teen accounts have been linked to a parent’s account through Family Center, reports TechCrunch.
Snapchat’s Family Center allows parents to see who their teens are friends with on the app and who they have been communicating with.
Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif) had asked the CEOs of Snap, Meta, TikTok, X and Discord to disclose how many minors were using their platforms.
Zuckerberg said he was unable to provide specific numbers, but said that the company runs “extensive ad campaigns” to raise awareness of its parental supervision tools.
X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared that less than 1 per cent of the platform’s 90 million US users are between the ages of 13 and 17. “Being a 14-month-old company we have reprioritised child protection and safety measures,” Yaccarino said at the hearing.
“We have just begun to talk about and discuss how we can enhance those with parental controls.” TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said he was unable to share specifics, but that TikTok was “one of the first platforms” to give parents supervision controls.
Discord CEO Jason Citron said that Discord raises awareness of its parental controls through promotional videos and in-app prompts.
The US is mulling the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) that would require social platforms to take further steps to protect children online. (IANS)