- Mark Zuckerberg was grilled at a Senate hearing on online child safety on Wednesday.
- The Meta chief was told by Senator Lindsey Graham: “You have a product that’s killing people.”
- New Mexico’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Meta in December to protect children from sexual abuse.
Mark Zuckerberg was told that Meta’s product is “killing people” at a tense Senate hearing on Wednesday.
Graham told the billionaire, “Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us, I know you don’t mean it to be so, but you have blood on your hands.” He added, “You have a product that’s killing people.”
The Senator also told the Meta chief that a son of a man who was in attendance at the hearing was targeted in a “sex extortion ring in Nigeria” on Instagram.
“He was shaken down, paid money and that weren’t enough and he killed himself, using Instagram,” Graham said. Zuckerberg said that the incident was “terrible” and that “no one should have to go through something like that.”
Zuckerberg was pushed to apologize to families impacted by online abuse on his platforms.
In December, New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez, filed a lawsuit against the tech giant saying that its social media platforms are a “prime location for predators to trade child pornography and solicit minors for sex.”
Torrez’s office said it carried out an undercover investigation of Meta’s platforms by creating decoy accounts of children aged 14 years old and under.
It said it found evidence that children were exposed to sexually explicit content and that dozens of adults were able to contact those children and pressure them into providing sexually explicit images of themselves.
Torrez told The Guardian that Meta is the “largest marketplace for predators and pedophiles globally” and that this investigation was just the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the scale of the problem inside the company.
Big tech leaders from X, TikTok, Snap, and Discord were also called to testify and the child safety hearing.
Meta didn’t immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment, made outside of normal working hours.