Thursday 1 February 2024

‘Blood On Your Hands’: Lindsey Graham Scorches Mark Zuckerberg In Contentious Hearing

 Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) unloaded on Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a contentious Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday, accusing the tech founder of having blood on his hands.

Graham laid out what he believed to be the problem, arguing that social media outlets — by design — were facilitating the exploitation of children. Additionally, he noted, there was little recourse for anyone who was negatively impacted — because, as platforms rather than publishers, the outlets were protected from legal liability.

“After years of working on this issue with you and others, I’ve come to conclude the following: social media companies, as they are currently designed and operate, are dangerous products,” the South Carolina senator began, going on to tell the story of a teenager who was tricked into sending someone compromising photos of himself — and then extorted for money until he eventually took his own life, Mediaite reported.

“Mr. Zuckerberg, you and the companies before us — I know you don’t mean it to be so, but you have blood on your hands,” Graham said to applause from the gallery. “You have a product — you have a product that’s killing people. When we had cigarettes killing people, we did something about it – maybe not enough. You’re going to talk about guns, we have the ATF.”

“Nothing here,” he continued, referring to social media in general. “There’s not a damn thing anybody can do about it, you can’t be sued. Now, Senator Blumenthal and Blackburn, who’ve been like the dynamic duo here, have found emails from your company where they warned you about this stuff — and you decided not to hire 45 people that could do a better job of policing this.”


“So the bottom line is you can’t be sued, but you should be,” Graham said, arguing that the emails were evidence that Zuckerberg knew the risks and failed to make efforts to mitigate them. “But the courtroom’s closed to every American abused by all the companies in front of me.”

Graham then called for the repeal of Section 230, which offers protections to social media companies under the assumption that they function as platforms rather than publishers, adding, “What do you do with dangerous products? Either allow lawsuits — you have statutory protections to protect consumers — or you have a commission of sorts to regulate the industry in question, to take your license away if you have a license or to fine you.”

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