An executive for social media platform TikTok defended the company’s policy on child users while appearing before a Senate committee on Tuesday. The hearing came as lawmakers are increasingly examining social media and its effects on the mental and physical health of young people who spend time on these social media platforms.
“I’m proud of the hard work our safety teams do every day to safeguard our community,” said TikTok vice president and head of public policy for the Americas Michael Beckerman.
“We seek out feedback from experts and stakeholders to constantly improve,” said Beckerman. “Turning a blind eye to areas where we can improve is not part of the company’s DNA.”
Beckerman is one of three executives — including Leslie Miller, vice president for government affairs and public policy of YouTube’s owner Google; and Jennifer Stout, vice president for global public policy of Snapchat parent Snap Inc. — facing questions on what their companies are doing to ensure young users’ safety.
The Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection is fresh off a highly charged hearing with a former Facebook data scientist, who laid out internal company research showing that the company’s Instagram photo-sharing service appears to seriously harm some teens.
The panel is widening its focus to examine other tech platforms, with millions or billions of users, that also compete for young people’s attention.
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