X, Snap and Discord CEOs subpoenaed to testify about children’s online safety to Senate panel ‘after repeated refusals to appear’

A Senate committee issued bipartisan subpoenas to Discord CEOs, Instant And Xdemanding that executives from the three companies testify at a December hearing on protecting children online.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the panel’s top Republican, announced Monday that they had issued the subpoenas to Discord’s CEO, Jason Lemon, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap And Linda Yaccarino, CEO of Xformerly known as Twitter, “after repeated refusals to appear” during weeks of negotiations.

“The failure of big tech to control itself to the detriment of our children cannot go unaddressed,” the two senators said in a statement about the December 6 hearing, which will focus on the sexual exploitation of children in line.

The committee said that “in a remarkable departure from standard practice,” Discord and .

In response to the subpoenas, the three companies said they would work with the committee. But none committed themselves at the December 6 hearing.

“Snap’s CEO has already agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and our team is coordinating with committee staff to determine potential dates,” Snap said in a statement.

Discord said that “keeping our users safe, especially young people, is at the heart of everything we do at Discord. We have actively engaged with the committee on how best to contribute to this important industry discussion.

Wifredo Fernandez, head of U.S. and Canadian government affairs at X, said in a statement that the company worked “in good faith” to participate because security was the company’s top priority. “Today we are communicating our updated availability to participate in a hearing on this important issue,” Fernandez said.

Durbin and Graham said the committee remains in discussions with Meta and TikTok and expects their CEOs, Mark Zuckerberg and Shou Zi Chew, to testify voluntarily.

Social media companies have been criticized by lawmakers, regulators and the public for the harm their platforms cause to children and adolescents. More recently, Meta has been sued by 41 states and Washington, D.C.. for contributing to the youth mental health crisis by knowingly designing features on Instagram and Facebook which addicts adolescents to platforms.

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