Mark Zuckerberg apologizes to parents at US Senate social media hearing

Meta Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday apologized to families at a U.S. Senate hearing about the impact that social media has on children.

Under prodding from Republican Senator Josh Hawley, Zuckerberg stood up and addressed families who held up pictures of their children who they said had been harmed by social media.

As the hearing kicked off, the committee played a video in which children spoke about being bullied on social media platforms. Senators recounted stories of young people taking their own lives after being extorted for money after sharing photos with sexual predators.

“Would you like now to apologize to the victims who have been harmed by your product?” Hawley asked, noting the hearing was being broadcast on live television.

Zuckerberg stood up, turned around, and addressed the families.

“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through. No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry-wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer,” he said.

Hawley aggressively criticized Zuckerberg during a contentious exchange. “Your product is killing people,” Hawley told Zuckerberg, whose firm owns social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)