NASHVILLE, TENN. – U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), lead sponsors of the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act, issued the following joint statement on the disclosures made by Facebook whistleblower Arturo Bejar. Both Senators met jointly with Mr. Bejar.
“Arturo Bejar has courageously come forward to share new, irrefutable evidence that senior Facebook executives knowingly turned a blind eye to horrific harms to young people on the company’s platforms. From Arturo’s disclosures, we now know that Mark Zuckerberg, Adam Mosseri, and other Meta executives were personally warned that millions of teens face bullying, eating disorder material, illicit drugs, and sexual exploitation, often within minutes of opening the app. Rather than address these deadly harms, Facebook continued to hide this information from the public and Congressional oversight, ignored recommendations to protect teens, rolled back safety tools, and dismantled teams responsible for kids’ safety. Arturo’s first-hand knowledge and damning evidence prove that Meta has put profits ahead of the safety and wellbeing of millions of teenagers, with a deadly toll on young people and families. It is clear that Facebook’s leadership will not act to make its platforms safer for users without a mandate.”
“Our Kids Online Safety Act will finally require the company to put in place real safeguards and tools to give back control to kids and parents online, while ensuring Big Tech accountability. Facebook along with other tech giants have been fighting our legislation with armies of lobbyists, lawyers, and opposition campaigns, but the broad coalition of young people, parents, and experts will win. It is time to say ‘enough is enough’ to Big Tech and pass the Kids Online Safety Act.”