The Senate Judiciary Committee summoned Big Tech CEOs to answer allegations that they have failed to protect children and teenagers online.
Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that they sent subpoenas to Discord CEO Jason Citron, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, and X CEO Linda Yaccarino to appear at a Dec. 6 hearing regarding online child sexual exploitation. The trio are expected to appear alongside Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, whom the senators said they believe will appear willingly.
The three tech CEOs were issued subpoenas after “repeated refusals to appear during several weeks of negotiations,” Durbin and Graham said in a statement.
“Big Tech’s failure to police itself at the expense of our kids cannot go unnoticed,” the two senators said. “At our February hearing on protecting children’s safety online, we promised Big Tech that they’d have their chance to explain their failures to protect kids. Now’s that chance.”
Spiegel is complying with the subpoena and is “coordinating with Committee staff on potential dates,” a Snap spokesperson said. “We appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Committee to discuss this vital issue.”
The hearing arrives as Congress is considering legislation that would change how the federal government holds Big Tech accountable for child sex abuse material. The EARN IT Act, sponsored by Graham and Durbin, would amend a crucial part of telecommunications law protecting websites from being sued for content posted by users to strip away the protections if the platforms violate federal laws around child sexual abuse material. The Senate Judiciary Committee pushed the bill through, and it awaits a floor vote.
X and Discord did not respond to requests for comment.