Meta, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube probed for privacy and moderation flaws

Meta, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube probed for privacy and moderation flaws
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Meta, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube probed for privacy and moderation flaws

Highlights

In recent years, the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security grilled executives from Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter about privacy and moderation failures on their respective platforms.

TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas, Twitter General Manager of Consumption and Revenue Jay Sullivan, Meta Chief Product Officer Chris Cox and YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan, testified before the panel on Wednesday evening.

"I'll be honest, I'm frustrated that all of you (who) have a prominent seat at the table when these business decisions are made were not more prepared to speak to specifics about your product development process, even when you are specifically asked if you would bring specific numbers to us today," lamented committee Chair Senator Gary Peters.

TikTok COO Pappas testified for the first time before lawmakers.

According to TechCrunch, the hearing explored the platforms' impact on national security and also grilled them on domestic extremism and misinformation about child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and China. Senator Alex Padilla questioned Meta's Cox about security efforts outside of the English language.

"In your testimony, you state that you have over 40,000 people working on trust and safety issues. How many of those people focus on non-English language content, and how many of them focus on non US users?" Padilla asked.

Cox did not provide an answer. Twitter's Sullivan also refused to deny allegations that the company "intentionally misrepresented" information provided to the US FTC. Twitter is involved in a minor legal battle with Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

"I can tell you, Twitter disputes the allegations," Sullivan said.

TikTok refused to accept the company sending user data to China, including ByteDance employees. Senator Josh Hawley also asked Pappas about the company's ties to the Chinese government.

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