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The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

The Student News Site of Lyman High School

Greyhound Growl

Not-So-Fun Side of Social Media

CEOs of popular social media platforms under fire regarding children’s safety.
Not-So-Fun+Side+of+Social+Media

The Senate is crossing the aisle to propose the Kids Online Safety Act bill, which aims to control what kids can view online including harmful content such as self-harm and eating disorders.

The major social media executives: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (Facebook and Instagram); Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap; Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok; Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X (formerly Twitter); and Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, were called to testify regarding their online child safety practices.

The hearing began with an emotional series of recordings from parents telling stories of their child’s exploitation through social media. Parents who lost their children from suicide due to online content held posters with their images in the courtroom.

Not even twenty years ago, cellphones could only send messages and calls compared to today’s infinite possibilities such as the increase in “sextortion” and drugs purchased online by children. At the hearing, Spiegel apologized for the deaths that could have been prevented and outlined the effort put into restricting drug-related content on the platform.

Zuckerberg claimed Meta introduced a number of new tools in the last several years, adding parental controls that allows parents to set time limits on the app and also to see exactly what their child is doing on the app and who they are interacting with. After admitting that he has not compensated any of the families, he openly apologized in court to the parents for Meta’s lack of child protections.

Senator Tom Cotton (R–AK) questioned Chew on his connections to China. Chew was grilled by Cotton about his citizenship and whether he had any ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Repeating multiple times that he was Singaporean, Chew also assured that TikTok follows the proper regulations and allows content of all opinions.

While the KOSA bill has some critics worried it will also censor content related to gender identity and reproductive health, the end goal is to have the power to restrict the content companies can show minors. It has already been backed by both Snap and X (formerly Twitter).

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About the Contributor
Bryce Brashear, Staff Writer
Hello, everyone! My name is Bryce and I’m a junior this year working as a part of the newspaper crew. I am looking forward to covering the various interesting events at this school and reviving the newspaper. I also have a newfound interest in photography and I hope to take some good photos at some of the many Lyman events. I will also be doing some social media posts so make sure to look out for those at @lymanhsjournalism on Instagram. I’m excited to see what we can do with the newspaper!

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    Johnathan | Feb 14, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    amazing article, hope you decide you hate writing!

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