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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Social media CEOs apologize to victim families for harm experienced online

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Thursday, February 1, 2024   

A contentious congressional hearing on Wednesday saw a unanimous push for regulations on social media specifically related to children.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley - R-MO - pushed Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to apologize to families of child victims over social media that caused exploitation, harm and death.

The CEOs of Meta, X - formerly Twitter, TikTok, Discord and Snap testified at the hearing. Zuckerberg and Snap's CEO Evan Spiegel gave apologies for the first time, after Hawley put them on the spot.

"Would you like to do so now? Well, they're here, you're on national television," said Hawley. "Would you like now to apologize to the victims who have been harmed by your products? Show them the pictures. Would you like to apologize for what you've done to these good people?"

Zuckerberg turned and stood and faced the audience and said "I'm sorry for everything you have all been through. No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much, and we are going to continue doing industrywide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer."

Some victims' families have said although they were a surprise, they didn't think the apologies sounded sincere.

Members of Congress said they hoped to find common ground in an effort to create laws that would make the internet a safer place. Senators including Sen. Jon Ossoff - D-GA - repeatedly asked the social media tycoons to consider the victims and recognize the risks of being online.

"We want to work in a productive, open, honest and collaborative way to pass legislation that will protect American children above all," said Ossoff. "If we don't start with an open, honest, candid, realistic assessment of the issues, we can't do that if you're not willing to acknowledge the internet is a dangerous place for children."

Earlier this week, explicit deep-fake Artificial Intelligence images of pop icon Taylor Swift were also released on X.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that legislation would be the obvious way to remedy this type of offense.




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