CEOs from major tech companies are set to testify before the US Senate on January 31, 2024, in a hearing focused on online child exploitation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, X (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, and Discord CEO Jason Citron.

Subpoenas were issued for Yaccarino, Spiegel, and Citron after repeated refusals to appear, while Zuckerberg and Chew agreed to testify voluntarily.

Meta is currently facing lawsuits from multiple states over allegations of misleading the public about the safety of Facebook and Instagram.

School districts in the US have filed suits against Meta, ByteDance, Alphabet, and Snap, accusing them of running platforms addictive to kids.

The hearing is part of a bipartisan effort to enhance child safety rules on the internet, with various states implementing online safety bills over the past year.

Critics argue that some of these bills might be overly broad and could have unintended consequences.

Recent bills, such as the one in Utah requiring parental consent for minors to sign up on social platforms, and regulations in Louisiana and Mississippi mandating age verification for viewing harmful content, have been implemented.

The Senate Commerce Committee recently approved child safety bills like the Kids Online Safety Act and COPPA 2.0, despite pushback from privacy advocates.

The five social media executives will testify before the Senate on January 31st, 2024 over their ‘failure to protect’ kids online.