Home » Mark Zuckerberg apologized at a hearing before the US Congress.

Mark Zuckerberg apologized at a hearing before the US Congress.

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Mark Zuckerberg apologized at a hearing before the US Congress.

The hearing in the United States Congress on Wednesday, January 31, was the scene of a tense confrontation between the CEOs of Meta, Mark Zuckerbergand Snap, Evan Spiegel, as both leaders apologized for the damage caused by their social media platforms.

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Zuckerberg, in an unusual and cornered moment, apologized to the families present in the Senate Judiciary Committee for the damage caused by the platforms of Meta. “I am deeply sorry for everything they have been through. No one should have to face the difficulties their families have experienced,” the CEO said.

However, the apologies were not enough for some legislators and activists. The senator Josh Hawley urged Zuckerberg to financially compensate to the affected families, arguing that as a billionaire he has the ability to do so.

Arielle Geismar, 22, shared her testimony about the damage suffered through Instagramaccusing Zuckerberg of minimizing the relationship between social networks and mental health problems. “It’s disgusting to sit there and be lied to. It’s very, very nice for him to be able to say a few words and calm everything down, but it doesn’t take away the damage,” Geismar said.

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Simultaneously, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, was also forced to apologize. Democratic Senator Laphonza Butler questioned him about the effectiveness of the company’s efforts to prevent drug-related tragedies in Snapchatafter the death of some young users.

Spiegel lamented the tragedies and detailed Snap’s efforts to actively monitor content related to drugs and educate users about the dangers of fentanyl. However, Butler noted that these measures have not prevented young people from accessing drugs through the platform.

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In the context of the hearing, previous complaints were recalled, including that of Arturo Béjar regarding sexual innuendos unwanted on Instagram, ignored by Meta executives. More than 25% of young people between 13 and 15 years old had reported receiving unwanted sexual advances on this application.

Several bills are before the Capitol, including the ‘Stop CSAM Act,’ aimed at combating the proliferation of child sexual abuse material online and increasing accountability for platforms.

The hearing, which lasted four hours, evidenced a significant change in public perception towards large technological. As critical voices demand stronger measures and compensation for damages caused, the regulation of social media is positioned as an urgent issue on the legislative agenda.

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