Some of the tech industry’s most prominent and powerful leaders will descend on Capitol Hill on Wednesday for a Senate hearing focused on protecting children online.
Chief executive officers from Meta Platforms, X (formerly Twitter), Snap, TikTok and Discord will provide testimony and take questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has supported several bills related to kids’ digital safety. Congress has increasingly scrutinized social media platforms, as growing evidence suggests that excessive use and the proliferation of harmful content may be damaging young people’s mental health.
Several bipartisan proposals seek to hold tech companies accountable, strengthen protections for young users and stop children’s sexual exploitation online. Yet a myriad of tech trade groups and civil liberties organizations have criticized many of the proposed measures as flawed and counterproductive, arguing they would worsen online privacy and safety if advanced. A handful of social media companies, including TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, and Meta, are facing lawsuits in California that claim the companies were negligent and ignored the potential harms their platforms created for teens.