When it comes to child safety, most of my work revolves around two areas of law: Defective products and sexual abuse of minors – whether in a school setting or a clergy setting. Plaintiffs’ injury lawyers sounded the alarm on such issues a long time ago. I’m proud to say that before plaintiffs’ lawyers did so, untold number of children were seriously injured or killed as a result of these defective products, and untold numbers of minor children were the victims of unspeakable sexual abuse by clergy members and school teachers.
Now, the focus is on internet child safety – specifically, the blind eye that Big Tech has paid to protecting underage children from sexual exploitation – and mental health harm, on the internet. Earlier this week, a hearing was held on Capitol Hill on the issue of child safety and the internet. The information revealed in that hearing was extremely disturbing.
A U.S. Senate hearing was called to air the justifiable worries of parents and experts in mental health that social media companies prioritize profits over safety measures that would better protect children in the use of these social media platforms. At one point, Senator Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina), told Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (which owns Facebook), “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. You have a product that’s killing people.” Aside from Facebook, Meta owns Instagram, WhatsApp and Threads, in addition to other similar online platforms.