In 2021, if you’re a big tech platform with lots of children using your service, chances are you’ll be in front of a committee of politicians sooner rather than later explaining how you keep those children safe. Facebook has been under the grill in the US recently, but now YouTube, Snap and TikTok will be testifying before the US Senate Commerce Committee next Tuesday (26 October).
“Recent revelations about harm to kids online show that Big Tech is facing its Big Tobacco moment – a moment of reckoning,” announced Richard Blumenthal, who is leading the series of hearings with fellow senator Marsha Blackburn. “We need to understand the impact of popular platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, & YouTube on children & what companies can do better to keep them safe. The bombshell reports about Facebook & Instagram – their toxic impacts on young users & lack of truth or transparency – raise serious concerns about Big Tech’s approach toward kids across the board.”
The hearing may not be entirely comfortable for the three companies, although they could always try the ‘we’re not as toxic as Instagram’ defence we guess.