Children Are Harmed By Meta, And 'I'm Sorry For Everything You Have All Been Through'

Mark Zuckerberg
CEO and founder of Meta Platforms, Inc.

Apologies always come late. And this is because apologies always come after something bad is realized to have had happened.

In other words, apologies always come after the mistake.

On the internet, social media platforms have become the online destination for many people of pretty much all ages from around the globe. These entities deal with all imaginable topics spoken and written in multitude of languages from people in different genders, emphasized by the multitude of cultures and a multitude of traditions and customs.

And Meta, the largest of them all, is the most wrongful.

And Mark Zuckerberg, its founder and CEO, apologized.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing called "Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis," Mark Zuckerberg said that:

"I’m sorry for everything you have all been through."

"No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered, and this is why we invested so much and are going to continue doing industry-leading efforts to make sure that no one has to go through the types of things that your families had to suffer."

He said this during his questioning, when Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said that families of children and teens exploited on social networks were in attendance.

"Have you apologized to the victims? Would you like to do so now? … They're here. You're on national television."

Zuckerberg sent his apologies by getting out of his chair, and turning his face around to the crowed in attendance.

With over the roughly four and a half hours of questioning, the hearing that looked at child sexual exploitation online, not only included Zuckerberg.

Others who attended, also included CEOs from Discord, Snap, X and TikTok.

Mark Zuckerberg, and other CEOs of tech
(left-right) Jason Citron, CEO of Discord; Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap; Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok; Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X; and Mark Zuckerberg.

The hearing featured a video of children speaking about their experiences with online bullying, abuse and more.

The packed hearing room was filled with parent and survivor advocates who put pressure not just on the companies, but also on the senators to advance regulation aimed at holding the companies accountable.

This happened as a growing number of lawmakers urge measures to curb the spread of child sexual abuse images online.

Committee chair Dick Durbin bashed the platforms for failing to protect children, and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told Zuckerberg that he had "blood on his hands" from a "product that's killing people."

Zuckerberg said the report was mischaracterized, but Hawley pushed him to apologize to the parent advocates at the hearing, which he did.

And when Hawley asked whether Zuckerberg would take personal responsibility in compensating the victims, Zuckerberg was out of words to say.

He declined to commit to Hawley's suggestion that he set up a victim's compensation fund.

Zuckerberg and other social media CEOs touted their child safety procedures online, with Meta previously said that it has spent $5 billion on safety and security in 2023.

A big sum of money, but the result doesn't impress the panel.

During the hearing, Zuckerberg and Shou Zi Chew faced the most pressure from the panel.

The Senate hearing was part of an effort to pass legislation after years of regulatory inaction by Congress.