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Jennifer Stout, vice president of global public policy at Snap, and Michael Beckerman, Americas vice president and head of public policy at TikTok, in a Senate hearing Tuesday.

TikTok in the Dock; YouTube’s Big Quarter

By  |  Oct. 26, 2021 3:18 PM PDT
Photo: Jennifer Stout, vice president of global public policy at Snap, and Michael Beckerman, Americas vice president and head of public policy at TikTok, in a Senate hearing Tuesday.

Remember that surreal Finsta moment from Facebook’s congressional hearing a few weeks ago? If you somehow missed it: Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) asked Facebook’s global head of safety: “Would you commit to ending finsta?” Twitter commentators went nuts over Blumenthal’s seeming ignorance that finsta was slang for a second private account, not a product Instagram had released. And it made you wonder whether the country’s elected representatives were really up for the task of regulating social media companies.

Well, Sen. “Finsta” Blumenthal was again at the microphone today, questioning executives from TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube about technology and threats to children. And this time, Blumenthal was after TikTok, but better briefed by his staff.  Blumenthal, the chair of the subcommittee looking into kids’ safety online, said his staff had recently conducted an experiment that involved setting up a new TikTok account and watching videos popular with young people.

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