New version of KOSA picks up speed

Youth-led coalition Design it for Us: “The latest improvements to the Kids Online Safety Act are welcome changes that would ensure this bill cannot be weaponized to restrict civil liberties – the result of the tireless advocacy of young people desperate for change to protect our generation online.”

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The result of all Washington-Silicon Valley tech showdowns? Nothing.

That was driven home by protesters at Wednesday’s hearing who wore T-shirts that read “I’m worth more than $270,” a reference to an internal Meta email disclosed in litigation brought by state attorneys general claiming that “the lifetime value of a [13-year-old] teen is roughly $270.” Demeaning though it sounds, this is merely standard business talk meaning that Meta assumes it will capture $270 in total for every teenage user over the course of their lives. But it shows exactly how the company views its customers.

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Senators find tech CEOs’ responses hollow after four-hour hearing

One thing tech companies could do to show their goodwill, suggested Zamaan Qureshi, co-chair of youth-led coalition Design It For Us, is to “get their trade organizations to back off” from lobbying against the bills. Of the witnesses, only Snap broke ranks before the hearing from peers and its own trade group NetChoice by endorsing KOSA. During the hearing, X CEO Linda Yaccarino also offered her support for the bill. Microsoft, which was not summoned to the hearing, endorsed KOSA the day before.

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1 big thing: Senate CEO hearing looks backwards

“Someone as powerful as her, someone as strong as her, was impacted by Big Tech’s negligence,” Arielle Geismar, a team member of Design It For Us, said at a press conference by the activist group after the hearing. “As a young woman, I am horrified by the potential this could happen to me.”

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Meta, TikTok and other social media CEOs testify in Senate hearing on child exploitation

“When you’re faced with really important safety and privacy decisions, the revenue in the bottom line should not be the first factor that these companies are considering,” said Zamaan Qureshi, co-chair of Design It For Us, a youth-led coalition advocating for safer social media. “These companies have had opportunities to do this before they failed to do that. So independent regulation needs to step in.”

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Accusations, tears and rants: 5 takeaways from today’s tech CEO hearing

Sen. Marsha Blackburn confronted Zuckerberg on internal Meta documents suggesting that the company estimates the lifetime value of a teen user at $270. “How could you possibly even have that thought? It is astounding to me,” Blackburn said, before recognizing a group of youth advocates in the audience and inviting them to stand.

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Zuckerberg apologized to parents — and other key moments — from a Senate hearing on online child safety

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee also went after Zuckerberg about an internal Meta document that placed a lifetime value to the company of a young user at $270. “How could you possibly even have that thought? It is astounding to me,” Blackburn said. She then invited members of the gallery to stand who wore T-shirts that read “I am worth more than $270.”

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Mark Zuckerberg and Snap CEO Evan Spiegel apologize to families of online harm victims at Senate hearing – as it happened

In her line of questioning, Senator Marsha Blackburn cited an internal email at Meta revealed as part of a lawsuit from US attorneys general that stated product teams that referred to younger users in terms of their lifetime value of being “roughly $270 per teenager”. She acknowledge teenagers in the crowd for the hearing wearing shirts that read “I’m worth more than $270,” which elicited applause from the crowd.

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Youth advocates wear ‘I’m worth more than $270’ T-shirts

Youth activists from across the country attended Wednesday’s hearing, donning T-shirts reading, “I’m worth more than $270.” The shirt is a reference to a lawsuit that 41 state attorneys general brought against Meta, claiming its products are addictive for teens. An unredacted version of that lawsuit includes an internal company email that said, “The lifetime value of a 13 y/o teen is roughly $270.”

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