Big Tech CEOs head to Capitol Hill

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Ahead of Wednesday’s hearing, several of the social media companies announced new initiatives geared toward protecting children online.


Meta, the
parent company of Facebook and Instagram, released a framework for legislation earlier this month, calling for app stores to verify user ages and obtain parental approval for teen downloads.


It also announced a new partnership with the Center for Open Science on Monday to share data with academic researchers who study topics related to well-being.


X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, revealed Friday that it plans to build a new
“Trust and Safety center of excellence”
and “hire more in-house agents” to combat the presence of exploitative material on the platform. 


Snap, the developer of Snapchat, also became the first major social media company to back the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) late last week.


The bipartisan legislation is likely to emerge as part of the debate at the Senate Judiciary hearing about how to regulate the social media companies.


coalition of teens, parents and other advocates
are planning to attend the hearing Wednesday to make a push for KOSA, as they argue that the time for talking is over and Congress must act to protect children and teens.


“I hope this is the last hearing where we talk about the problems of unregulated social media on children and teens,” said Josh Golin, executive director of Fairplay, a nonprofit focused on kids’ online safety. 


“We’ve had a number of these, and I think they can be illuminating, and some really important points are made, but ultimately what’s going to save children’s lives and create a safer, less addictive internet for kids is not senators dunking on CEOs at hearings, but actually voting for legislation,” he added. 

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