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Social media companies face scrutiny over kid’s safety

Randy Mancini 19 October 20, 2021
A young girl wearing a protective mask takes a photo with a smartphone at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on January 23, 2020. - China is halting public transport and closing highway toll stations in two more cities in Hubei province, the epicentre of a deadly virus outbreak, authorities said on January 23. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

A young girl wearing a protective mask takes a photo with a smartphone at Tiananmen Gate in Beijing on January 23, 2020. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

Popular social media platforms are being forced into the spotlight amid controversy regarding children’s safety on their apps and websites. It was confirmed there would be a hearing to look at popular platforms such as Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok, along with the influence they have on children.

“Recent revelations about harm to kids online show that Big Tech is facing its Big Tobacco moment…a moment of reckoning,” said subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Bluementhal (D-Conn.) in a statement. “We need to understand the impact of popular platforms like Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube on children and what companies can do better to keep them safe.”

Former Facebook employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen told a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing that the social media giant knowingly amplifies divisive and harmful content, choosing profit over safety https://t.co/dSRDq4gGk7 pic.twitter.com/qZ6g4WMR2t

— Reuters (@Reuters) October 6, 2021

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) said the companies “continue to prioritize profit over safety.” In addition, she said the Big Tech giants all play a “leading role in exposing children to harmful content.”

Meanwhile, executives from the major platforms are expected to meet on the issue next week.

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