During his wonder of Snap vice president of global public policy Jennifer Stout, Lee said what his staffers discovered was appalling for a platform that purports to moderate content appropriate for users aged 13 and older .
“ When they opened the Discover page on Snapchat … they were immediately bombarded with capacity that I can most politely trace as wildly inappropriate for a child, ” Lee said. “ Including recommendations for, among early things, an invite to play an on-line sexualized video game that ’ south marketed itself to people who are 18 and up, tips on ‘ why you shouldn ’ triiodothyronine go to bars alone ’ and … articles about pornography stars. Let me remind you that this inappropriate content has by nonpayment been recommended for a 15-year-old child … commit to them by an app equitable using the nonpayment setting. “ I respectfully but very powerfully beg to differ on your word picture that the content is desirable for children 13 and up. ” Citing the injury that can come to vulnerable young people from the sites — ranging from eating disorders to exposure to sexually explicit content and substantial promoting addictive drugs — lawmakers on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security besides sought the executives ’ corroborate for legislation bolstering protection of children on social media. But they received little tauten commitment .
“ The problem is authorize : big Tech raven on children and teens to make more money, ” Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., said at the listening. The subcommittee recently took testimony from a former Facebook data scientist, who laid out inner company research showing that the party ’ mho Instagram photo-sharing service appears to badly harm some teens. The subcommittee is widening its concentrate to examine other technical school platforms, with millions or billions of users, that besides compete for young people ’ south attention and loyalty .
“ We ’ ra hearing the same stories of damage ” caused by YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., the control panel ’ south chair .
“ This is for Big Tech, a big tobacco moment … It is a here and now of see, ” he said. “ There will be accountability. This time is different. ” To that end, Markey asked the three executives — Michael Beckerman, a TikTok frailty president and principal of public policy for the Americas ; Leslie Miller, frailty president for government affairs and public policy of YouTube ’ sulfur owner Google ; and Stout — if they would support his bipartisan legislation that would give new privacy rights to children, and banish targeted ads and video autoplay for kids. In a drawn-out exchange as Markey tried to draw out a committedness of support, the executives avoided providing a direct endorsement, insisting that their platforms already are complying with the proposed restrictions. They said they ’ ra seeking a dialogue with lawmakers as the legislation is crafted .
That wasn ’ t good enough for Markey and Blumenthal, who perceived a classical Washington lobby game in a consequence of crisis for social media and the technical school industry. “ This is the talk that we ’ ve seen again and again and again and again, ” Blumenthal told them. Applauding legislative goals in a general way is “ meaningless ” unless backed up by specific support, he said.
“ Sex and drugs are violations of our community standards ; they have no place on TikTok, ” Beckerman said. TikTok has tools in place, such as screen-time management, to help young people and parents moderate how long children spend on the app and what they see, he said .
The caller says it focuses on age-appropriate experiences, noting that some features, such as lineal messaging, are not available to younger users. The video platform, wildly democratic with teens and younger children, is owned by the chinese company ByteDance. In only five years since plunge, it has gained an calculate 1 billion monthly users. early on this class after federal regulators ordered TikTok to disclose how its practices affect children and teenagers, the chopine tightened its privacy practices for users under 18. Pressed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., about a 19-year-old said to have died from counterfeit annoyance medication he bought through Snapchat, Stout said, “ We ’ re absolutely determined to remove all drug dealers from Snapchat. ” Stout said the platform has deployed detection measures against dealers but acknowledged that they are much evaded .
portly made the case that Snapchat ’ s platform differs from the others in relying on humans, not artificial intelligence, for moderating contentedness. Snapchat allows people to send photos, videos and messages that are meant to promptly disappear, an lure to its young users seeking to avoid snooping parents and teachers. Hence its “ Ghostface Chillah ” faceless ( and word-less ) white logo .
entirely 10 years old, Snapchat says an dazzling 90 % of 13- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. use the overhaul. It reported 306 million day by day users in the July-to-September quarter .
Miller said YouTube has worked to provide children and families with protections and parental controls like time limits, to limit viewing to age-appropriate content. The three platforms are woven into the fabric of youthful people ’ randomness lives, frequently influencing their dress, dance moves and diet, potentially to the sharpen of obsession. Peer pressure to get on the apps is strong. social media can offer entertainment and department of education, but platforms have been misused to harm children and promote browbeat, vandalism in schools, eating disorders and manipulative commercialize, lawmakers say. The dialog box wants to learn how algorithm and product designs can magnify damage to children, foster addiction and intrusions of privacy. And Blumenthal specially asked the executives whether independent research had been conducted on the affect on unseasoned people of the platforms. He said the lawmakers expected to receive information from the companies on such inquiry soon. TikTok, in its first time testifying before Congress, received particularly boisterous criticism during the hearing, particularly from conservative republican lawmakers who highlighted its chinese ownership. The company says it stores all TikTok U.S. data in the United States, with a backup adeptness in Singapore. “ TikTok actually collects less data than many of our peers, ” Beckerman said.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Beckerman that he dodged questions more than any witness he ’ s ever seen in Congress .