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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte


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Many CEOs of Large Social Media Platforms Testified to the United States Senate in a Deposition on January 31st Regarding Child Safety on Social Media

From left to right: Jason Cintron (CEO of Discord), Evan Spiegel (CEO and Founder of Snapchat), Shou Zi Chew (CEO of TikTok), Linda Yaccarino (CEO of X), and Mark Zuckerberg (CEO, Chairman, and Founder of Meta) testify to the United States Congress regarding child safety on their social media platforms.

On Thursday, Jan. 25th, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill that prohibits the use of social media for anyone under the age of sixteen. There is a federal impact on the new law that was passed in Florida. Many CEOs are arguing in Congress about states across the country that are passing a bipartisan bill prohibiting the use of social media for anyone under the age of sixteen just like Florida. 

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder, chairman, and CEO of Facebook is one of the people who are against the law. Zuckerberg told lawmakers that there are positive aspects of children’s interactions on the Meta platforms (mainly Facebook and Instagram). Zuckerberg also claims that Facebook has gone beyond the legal requirements in seeking to remove abusive and sexual material from the platform. Mark Zuckerberg testified to the Senate on January 31st about the child safety procedures on all Meta platforms. Not only did Zuckerberg testify, but he also apologized to parents regarding children’s safety on Meta platforms. 

Another CEO who is against the law is Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok. Shoui Zi Chew never admitted word to word that he was against the states passing the bipartisan bill, he admitted that he was against it by not giving clear information to the Senators. For years, TikTok has been accused of stealing personal information from its users. Chew kept admitting that he was Singaporean and had no relationship with the country of China and that he did not know if personal information was being stolen despite TikTok being a Chinese-owned company and that 75% of Singapore is Chinese. Chew eventually testified about children’s safety on the app. 

A third CEO who testified regarding children’s safety on their platform is Linda Yaccarino, the CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter). Yaccarino stated that there is no sexual or abusive material on X. Unlike other social media platforms, X has created an automated reporting system that sends reports to the NCMEC’s (National Center for Exploited Children) Cyber Tipline. Yacarinno also stated that there is a notice on the app that informs users that posting nonconsensual nudity is prohibited on X. Yaccarino and the X team seem to have been cautious about child safety on the app even before the hearing. 

A fourth CEO who testified at the hearing with the Senate was Evan Spiegel, CEO and founder of Snapchat. Just like Zuckerberg, Spiegel also apologized to parents regarding child safety on Snapchat. Spiegel’s apology was different because he was more directed at apologizing to the parents of children who died due to buying drugs from Snapchat. Spiegel stated that Snapchat does what it can to the best of its abilities to lock and detect drug-related content. Although Snapchat is mainly directed towards teenagers, Spiegel and the team have been doing whatever they can to make it more safe.  

A fifth and final CEO who is against the bipartisan bill being passed by other states and who testified to the Senate is Jason Citron, the CEO of Discord. Citron was one of only a few CEOs who mentioned how that app has always had child safety because the main point of the app is to enrich gamers’ lives. Despite Discord always having a stronger child safety network, Cintron still testified to the Senate regarding having a weaker child safety network than needed according to the legal requirements. 

It is quite clear why many CEOs were against states passing the bipartisan bill prohibiting social media for all children under the age of sixteen and why they were testifying. Now that the hearing is over, we sit back, relax, watch, and listen to see what the Senate of the United States, the Florida Senate, and of course the CEOs of these platforms choose what to do next. Do you think that the bipartisan bill HB1 will be passed in the state of Florida?

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About the Contributor
Ryan Chait
Ryan Chait, Breaking News Director
Ryan Chait is a freshman in his second semester at the Pharcyte. Ryan has been at Benjamin since 6th grade and was one of the editors for the Neercyde in middle school. He is a member of the boys varsity tennis team. He enjoys spending time with his friends, family and watching sports. Ryan is excited to continue writing for the Pharcyte.

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