Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized Wednesday to parents in the audience of a Senate online child safety hearing who say that Instagram contributed to their children’s suicide or exploitation.
“I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through,” Zuckerberg said, after Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., pressed him on whether he’d apologize to the parents directly. “It’s terrible. No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered.”
The exchange happened during a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing called “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis,” where lawmakers grilled Zuckerberg and the CEOs of TikTok, Discord, X and Snap.
Parents held up photos of their children as senators questioned the CEOs. Many were also wearing blue ribbons that read, “STOP Online Harms! Pass KOSA!,” referring to the Kids Online Safety Act, which would create a duty of care for social media companies.
Some of the parents audibly hissed when Zuckerberg entered the hearing room Wednesday. He has faced intense scrutiny and criticism over the years around child safety issues on Meta’s platforms.
Zuckerberg’s words to the parents at the hearing were not into the microphone, but were audible on livestream.
After apologizing, the CEO told parents that “this is why we invest so much and are going to continue doing industry-leading efforts to make sure that no one has to go through the types of things that your families have had to suffer.”