LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Executives from YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat were grilled by U.S. senators about what they’re doing to keep children safe online.
The hearing followed testimony from a former Facebook data scientist who says Instagram’s photo-sharing service appears to seriously harm teens.
Utah Senator Mike Lee challenged Snapchat executive Jennifer Stout. His staff created an account for a 15-year-old with no preferences. He says what showed up on the social media app was wildly inappropriate for a child.
“Tips on why you shouldn’t go to bars alone, invites to video games marketed for kids 17 and above and articles on porn stars,” Lee said.
Stout’s reply: “I’m unfamiliar and have taken notes about what your account surfaced.”
Stout joined executives from YouTube and TikTok, answering questions about how their apps are looking out for children on issues from privacy to safety.
It’s something they all say they’re working on.
There are at least two bills senators are working on to protect kids. One would make it illegal for social media companies to track a young user’s data. The other would make social media companies legally responsible if a child is exploited on an app.
A reminder that this is national Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
It takes less than a minute for someone with bad intentions to contact your child on social media.
For ideas on how to talk to your kids about this, and for more on what you can do at home, click on our Cyber Safe Parent tab in the News menu.