Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg that he and other social media company founders have “blood on your hands” because of their platforms’ insufficient safety protocols for children Wednesday.
“Social media companies as they are currently designed and operate are dangerous products,” said Graham during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “They’re destroying lives and threatening democracy itself.”
The hearing was convened to address child safety concerns with social media, particularly regarding child pornography and financial extortion. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, Discord CEO Jason Citron and Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X, formerly known as Twitter, all joined Zuckerberg at the hearing.
Yaccarino, Speigel and Citron all had to be subpoenaed to appear before the committee after not voluntarily agreeing to do so.
Graham told the story of a boy who was catfished on social media and shared compromising photos with what turned out to be an extortionist. After attempting to pay the extortionist, the boy committed suicide.
“These products have an upside, they have enriched our lives in many ways,” said Graham. “But the dark side hasn’t been dealt with.”
“The courtroom’s closed to every American abused by the companies in front of me,” said Graham.