Blackburn To Zuckerberg, Big Tech CEOs: How Much Is A Child’s Life Worth To You?

January 31, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) ripped Big Tech CEOs for prioritizing profit as parents lose their children to online harms like bullying, child trafficking, and fentanyl.


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Blackburn: Nashville Will Not Be Welcoming To China-Owned TikTok

“Mr. Chew, we've heard that you're looking at putting a headquarters in Nashville and likewise in Silicon Valley and Seattle. And what you're going to find probably is that the welcome mat is not going to be rolled out for you in Nashville like it would be in California. There are a lot of people in Tennessee that are very concerned about the way TikTok is basically building dossiers on our kids the way they are building those on their ‘virtual you.’ And also that information is held in China, in Beijing, as you responded to Senator Blumenthal and I last year in reference to that question. And we also know that a major music label yesterday said they were pulling all of their content off your site because of your issues on pay, on artificial intelligence, and because of the negative impact on our kids' mental health.”

Blackburn Calls Out Zuckerberg For Putting A Price On Teenagers’ Lives

“Mr. Zuckerberg, one of the things that really concerned me is that you referred to your young users in terms of their lifetime value of it being roughly $270 per teenager. And each of you should be looking at these kids, their t-shirts they're wearing today say, ‘I'm worth more than $270.’ We've got some standing up in those t-shirts now, and some of the children from our state, some of the children, the parents that we have worked with, just to think whether it is Becca Schmill, David Molak, Sarah Flatt, Annalee [Schott]—would you say that life is only worth $270? What could possibly lead you… I mean, I listen to that. I know you're a dad, I'm a mom, I'm a grandmom. And how could you possibly even have that thought?”

Big Tech Has Failed To Come To The Table And Work With Congress

“Mr. Zuckerberg…it appears that you're trying to be the premier sex trafficking site…the problem is, we've been working on this stuff for a decade. You have an army of lawyers and lobbyists that have fought us on this every step of the way… So are you going to stop funding these groups? Are you going to stop lobbying against this and come to the table and work with us?... The door is open. We've got all these bills…Each and every one of you need to come to the table, and you need to work with us. Kids are dying.”