Today, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and its leadership — Committee Chair and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — issued subpoenas for the CEOs of Discord, Snap, and X (formerly Twitter) to testify at a December 6 full committee hearing on online child sexual exploitation. According to the committee, these companies refused to appear voluntarily after several weeks of negotiations, a dramatic break from typical practices that required the committee to enlist the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service to personally serve the subpoenas.
Alix Fraser, director of Issue One’s Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM), issued the following statement in response:
“Chair Durbin, Ranking Member Graham, and the Judiciary Committee have continued to demonstrate tremendous leadership in their efforts to protect kids online. They have advanced numerous proposals to crack down on sexually exploitative material and hold accountable the Big Tech companies that propel this material through the design of their platforms. Today’s decision sends a clear signal to Big Tech’s leadership that they can no longer run dangerous experiments on our children without being held accountable.”
- Jason Citron, CEO of Discord
- Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc.
- Linda Yaccarino, CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter)
Earlier this month, the committee chairs joined with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in a letter to the leadership of Meta demanding key documents about the company’s knowledge and decision-making as it pertains to mental and physical harms to kids. This letter follows testimony before the Judiciary Committee by Arturo Béjar, a Meta whistleblower, who demonstrated that Meta intentionally and knowingly puts profits over kids’ safety. Read the CRSM’s statement on Mr. Béjar’s testimony.
Issue: Kids’ Online Safety