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tv   LIVE U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 26, 2021 11:05am-12:00pm EDT

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wow. support c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> live to a senate commerce hearing with representatives from snap chat and youtube testifying about the social media platforms on children. live coverage on c-span. >> we offer those already where kid can opt out. >> would you support that as a national law that we ban it?
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>> senator, an example would be the age appropriate design code we adhere to and are looking at that model -- >> would you support it as a law this body passes to prohibit it. if you say it's wrong should we prohibit it? >> we offer those and agree with those. >> do you support it or yes or no? >> we agree with your approach so we're applying it to more. >> mr. markie: if you support it, would you prohibit anyone else from doing it, yes? >> i think we're very close, senator, yes. mr. markie: mr. beckerman? >> i would go beyond that and part of the approach is certain categories shouldn't be shown to teenagers and young adults and should be part of the procedure. >> we need to go beyond privacy and attack and harm people and take like buttons, senator blumenthal and i have a bill,
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the kids act and would ban these and other features that quantify popularity. the research is clear, these features turn apps into virtual popularity contests and our link to feelings of rejection and low self worth and depression. even youtube kids has acknowledged the problem and does not have like buttons. should congress ban features that quantify popularity for kids, yes or no? jennifer: we don't have those metrics and never had comments because we don't think it should be a popularity contest and we support that. michael: this one, we have implemented the age appropriate design code in the united states and would incur similar measures. senator markie: so i don't know there was an answer there. you said it's complicated, do
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you support banning it or not? mr. beckerman: if we want to ban it by age it is something we could look at. senator markey: mrs. miller? leslie: we would work with you in legislation in this area. senator markey: you would work with us but would you support banning likes? mrs. miller: we do not allow for this on the youtube kids platform. senator markey: the american academy of pediatrics declared it a national state of emergency for children and teen mental health. we need to outlaw the online features that exacerbate this crisis. the question that we have to answer ultimately is whether or
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not, for example, we're going to ban auto play for kids with this feature when one video ends, another quickly begins, kids stay glued to their phones so app collect more data and make more money. today 82% of parents are worried about their kids' screen time. each of you today, do you agree congress should ban auto play for kids, yes or no? mrs. miller, we'll start with you this time? mrs. miller: senator, each of the outlines we prohibit. we have the default set to auto play off on youtube kids as well as for supervised experiences. senator markey: you would support that being legislated? mrs. miller: yes, sir. senator markey: mr. beckerman: we have take a break and time management tools but on tiktok you have to proactively switch
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to the next video. senator markey: would you ban auto play? mr. beckerman: we would be happy to talk about it. senator markey: you don't do it? mr. beckerman: it's something we build in tiktok but as we look at legislation, the first step is age verification across apps. senator markey: this is the problem. ms. stout, would you support it? ms. stout: i don't believe we have auto play on snap chat and would defer and say that's something we need to look at more closely. i'm not familiar with that piece of the proposal in your legislation. senator markey: we have a lot of work to do and have to telescope the time frame, i think, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thanks, senator markey for all your good work. senator baldwin.
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i see senator cantwell is here. senator, sorry. >> we all know social media offer as bunch of benefits and opportunities but like has been expressed this morning, i have concerns about the lack of transparency online and limited accountability of big tech companies and one of the major problems with social media that's been increasingly concerning is social media's platform's use of al gore rhythms to shape and manipulate user's experience in what individuals are trapped in the filter bubble and can be particularly troubling for users and recently a "wall street journal" article described in detail how tiktok's al gore rhythm turns up sex and drug videos to minors. mr. thune: i have a wilkes the transparency act and the pact act that would make significant
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strides in helping with transparency online and the filter bubble transparency act would give consumers the option to engage in platforms without being manipulated by opaque algorithms. do you think they should use the platform to keep them engaged on the platform. mr. beckerman and mrs. miller and ms. stout. mr. beckerman: we agree with needs to be transparency in the way algorithms work and the individual choice while using them. mrs. miller: we do provide transparency in the way our systems and practices work. ms. stout: senator thune, it's important to understand that what we a lie -- apply algorithms to is a small amount of content and users get to select interest categories that then determine the kind of content they're served up. but it's not an unlimited list or set of user generated
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content. it's quite narrow. mr. thune: i don't know you or mrs. miller answered the question and that is should consumers who use these social media platforms be able to use them without being manipulate bid algorithms. ms. stout: yes, senator, i agree with you. mr. thune: mrs. miller? mrs. miller: yes, sir. mr. thune: how about the article that detail how tiktoking a gore rhythms serves up drugs and sex to minors? mr. beckerman: thank for you the question. sex and drugs are violations of our guidelines and have no place on tiktok as it relates to "the wall street journal" article we disagree with that being an authentic experience an actual user would have. mr. thune: your platform is more driven by algorithms than any other platform today, more so even than facebook and unlike facebook tiktok is not constrained by a user's social
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net york. on july 2020 tiktok's former c.e.o. kevin meyer wrote, quote, we believe all companies should disclose their algorithms and data flows to regulators, end quote. tiktok states on its website it makes tiktok source code available for guessing and evaluation to guess at its transparency and accountability center. has tiktok disclosed their algorithms and data flows to any federal or state regulators? mr. beckerman: nor, yes. as we pointed out we have these transparency centers and have done over a hundred tours with senate and their staff and we continue to be transapparent in how that works. senator thune: in keeping with tiktok's disclosure practices announced in july of 2020 would you commit to providing algorithms and policies and data
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flows to this committee so we may have independent experts review them? mr. beckerman: yes, sir. senator thune: thank you. mrs. miller, ask you tube engage in behaviors to change the users' influence in any way? mrs. miller: when users come to youtube they come to search and discover all kind of content, for example, how to bake bread, watch a church service or do exercise. as a result, they are introduced to a diversity of content that isn't based on a particular network they are a part of. in so doing there may be additional videos recommended to them based on some signals but they will be overrided to make sure that we are not recommending harmful content. senator thune: back to mr. beckerman. all chinese internet companies are compelled by china's
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international intelligence law to turn over all data that government demands and is not limited by china's borders. has tiktok provided data to the chinese government on chinese persons living in the united states or elsewhere living outside of china? mr. beckerman: no, tiktok is not available in china and i'd like to point out our servers of u.s. data are stored in the united states. senator thune: does it censor videos of tank man, the young man who stood in front of a procession of army tanks in the tiananmen square trackdown in beijing. mr. beckerman: no, you can find it if you search for it. senator thune: as has been pointed out on the committee, i think there are a number of things we need to address, congress needs to be heard from and in the use of algorithms and
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in the way users are manipulated and as you point out particularly young people. i hope we can move quickly and directly and in a meaningful way to address this issue. thank you. >> thank you. i think we have strong bipartisanship consensus on that. thank you, senator thune. senator baldwin. senator baldwin: thank you, chairman blumenthal. i'd like to just note that the series of hearings really began with a revelation that internal research of facebook revealed the negative impacts on teenagers' body images from using the company's instagram platform. and we learned based on research by the chairman's staff how quickly somebody on instagram can view content on healthy eating to being directed towards
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postings that focus on unhealthy practices, including glorifying eating disorders. i know we don't have facebook and instagram before us today but i'm particularly concerned about the impact that type of content would have on young users. i recently joined senator klobuchar and capito with whom we sponsored the weston act to promote training on eating disorders on a letter to facebook and instagram seeking more details about how they handle this issue. i want to ask each of you, can you briefly outline the steps your companies are taking to remove content that promotes unhealthy body image and eating disorders and direct users to supportive resources instead? and in particular, how are you
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focusing on this issue with regard to your younger users? why don't we start with mr. beckerman and tiktok? mr. beckerman: thank you, senator, i have two young daughters and care a lot about and our teams at tiktok care about. we aggressively remove content you're describing that would be problematic for eating disorders and second we work with outside groups and direct people seeking help and one thing we've heard is people struggling with eating disorders or other weight loss issues come to tiktok to express themselves in a positive way and has been more of a positive source and lastly, we don't allow ads that target people based on weight loss and that kind of content. >> i want to make sure the content you described, the content that glorifies eating
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disorders or self-harm is a complete violation of our community guidelines. as i described earlier, we don't allow unvetted, unmoderated content from being serviced up to our users. discover which is our media platform we partner on with people and publishing companies like "the wall street journal" or members news, all that content is vetted and -- senator baldwin: is that done through a.i. or humans? ms. stout: no, these are handpicked partners snap chat selected to say in this closed garden of content, which is discover, we will allow certain publishers and media companies to provide news, entertainment, content, espn or c.m.t. or "the washington post," in fact. so users can come and look at that content. it's all premoderated and curated, so it's not an unlimited source of user generated content where you can
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go down a rabbit hole, perhaps, and access that kind of hurtful, damaging content on body image. i think you raised a very interesting question, what are the products that you're servicing? how are we helping users find positive resources? and as a result we did conduct research about the mental health effects of body image and self-harm and we created a product called here for you. this was created in 2020 in the height of the pandemic when users are in snap chat and they search anorexia or eating disorder, instead of perhaps being led to content that could be harmful, that content which is against our guidelines, we now service expert resources that show content that can help that user. maybe it helps them or their friends. this is a redirection of that kind of search for potentially hurtful and harmful content that then steers the user to resources that may help them or a member of their circle of
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friends. senator baldwin: mrs. miller? mrs. miller: we take a comprehensive and really holistic approach on topics like these. we prohibit content that promotes or glorifies things such as eating disorders. it has no place on our platform. but we also realize that users come to share their stories about these experiences or find a community, let alone to find authoritative sources which is what we raids up -- raise up in searches like this. in addition, we also roll out programs and initiatives such as the with me campaign whereby we are encourageing various to spend their time particularly during covid in pursuing healthy habits. so we look at this in a very holistic way to make sure that youtube is a platform people come and have a healthy
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experience and we again prohibit the type of content that glorifies or promotes these issues such as eating disorders. senator baldwin: if i could follow-up like i did with ms. stout. when you remove content, how are you filtering that out? are you using artificial intelligence or using a team of humans who are -- a team of people looking at that content and deciding whether to remove it or not? mrs. miller: it's mix, senator, a mix of when we develop content policies, we rely on experts to inform the development of these policies and then we have machine learning to help us capture this type of content at scale. you'll see in our quarterly transparency report that more than 90% of content that violates our community guidelines are flagged originally by machines and then there's a mix of human
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reviewers. senator baldwin: thank you. i want to thank senator blumenthal and senator blackburn for holding this subcommittee hearing and as the witnesses can see, our colleagues are well informed and very anxious to get legislative fixes to things they think are crucial to projecting -- protecting individuals and protecting people's privacies and want to thank them for that. >> yesterday motherboard vice had a headline, location data from g.p.s. data from apps are given even when people have opted out. so basically i'm going to enter this for the record unless there's objection but quote, the news highlights a stark problem that smart phone users, that they can't actually be sure if some apps are respecting their explicit preferences around data sharing.
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senator cantwell: the data transfer presents an issue for the location data themselves. basically these companies are reporting information about location even when people have explicitly opted out. and so they're continuing to collect this information. that is what the report of researchers and motherboard found. so i have a question, do you believe location data is sensitive data and should be collected only with consumers' consent? all the witnesses, please. mrs. miller: yes, senator, we agree. mr. beckerman: yes, senator, we agree. >> yes, senator and for users they have access of their account under activity and my account and can modify their settings, delete their history and things of that nature. it's all just one click away. senator cantwell: any federal privacy law should make sure that's adhered to?
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mrs. miller: yes, senator. mr. beckerman: yes, senator. ms. stout: yes. senator cantwell: do any of you share location data with the company in this article, it's h-unfunded federal mandate k. they're major data. mrs. miller: i never heard of that company and am not aware. mr. beckerman: i'm not aware of the company and don't collect g.p.s. data. senator cantwell: you would be affiliated with them in some way. they're getting this anyway. i'm sorry, the last witness, do you know? ms. stout: i'm also not aware of the company. senator cantwell: maybe can you help us on the record on this so that we know. but this is exactly what the public is frustrated about and concerned about, particularly when harm can be done that, you know, they go to a website and they don't want their sensitive
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information to be shared and then there's this conglomerate of data gathering on top of that that's not honoring those wishes as it relates to the interface with these apps and is exactly why we need a strong privacy law and why we should protect consumers on this. in the facebook hearing we had, we had a discussion about advertising and the issue of whether advertisers knew exactly what the content was they were being advertised. i get we're all switching to migration like procter & gamble and others moving off the internet because they're like i'm done with it, i don't want my ad because it is now run by a system, i don't want my ad just appearing next to certain kinds of content and so what is more startling is there may be actual deceptive practices here where people are saying this content
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is this when in reality it's something else and in some of these cases we discuss with facebook objectionable hate speech and content that we don't even think should be online and yet that's not what the advertisers knew. so on your website, do advertisers know what content they're being placed next to? ms. stout: i can respond. yes, our advertisers do know where their advertisements show up and i mentioned discover, that clothed curated garden, those advertisements appear next to publishers and verified users we've hand selected we've allowed to appear. so on a platform like snap chat there's no broadcast disinformation or hate speech so i think snap chat is in fact a very appealing place for advertisers because they know their advertisements will be placed next to safe content. senator cantwell: mr. beckerman?
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mr. beckerman: advertisers come to tiktok in particular because our content is known for being authentic and uplifting and fun and we see ads that are very much like tiktok videos which are the same theme? senator cantwell: mrs. miller? mismiller: we've worked with our advertising partners over the years to make sure they have trust to the fact that advertising on youtube is safe for their brands in the same way we've worked significantly to make sure users themselves have a safe experience on the platform and the advertising associations have recognized the work we've done in the face so their brands are safe on the platform. senator cantwell: i'll probably have a follow-up but senator lee? senator lee: thanks, madam chair. mrs. miller, i want to start with you and ask you a particular question about
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youtube's app page rating. google play has the app rating set at teen. meaning 13 and up and the apple store has it rated as 17 and up. tell me why this disparity exists if apple determined it was a age rating for youtube ought to be 17 and up what did google determine the own app should be rated as teen, meaning 13 and up? mrs. miller: senator, i'm unfamiliar with the differences that you just outlined but would be happy to follow up with you and your staff once i get more details on this. senator lee: it's a simple question and i understand you may not be able to answer it right now. as it stands you don't have the information and would like to know whether you agree or disagree with the fact google
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has rated its own app 13 and up and apple is rated 17 and up but happy to follow up on that in writing or otherwise. i want to ask a similar regard to snap chat. it's rated 12 and up on apple and rated teen on the google play store. any idea why there is that disparity there? mrs. miller: that's a very good question and for some reason i heard somewhere the reason apple lists it 12 and up. it's an app intended for teen audience. senator lee: why is there a gap between the age rating and content? ms. stout: the content that appears on snap chat is appropriate for age 13 and above.
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senator lee: let's talk about that for a minute because i beg to differ. in anticipation of this discussion and hearing i had my staff create a snap chat account for a 13-year-old -- for a 15-year-old child. now, they didn't select any content preferences for the account, they simply entered a name, a birth year and email address and then when they opened the discover page on snap chat with its default settings were immediately bombarded with content that i can most politely describe as wildly inappropriate for a child. including recommendations for, including other things, an invite to play an online sexualized video game marketed itself to people 18 and up. tips on, quote, why you
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shouldn't go to bars alone. notices for video games that are rated for ages 17 and up and articles about porn stars. now, let me remind you that this inappropriate content that has by default been recommended for a 15-year-old child is something sent to them by an app just using the default settings. so i respectfully but strongly beg to differ on your characterization that the content is in fact suitable for children 13 and up. as you say. now, according to your own website discover is a list of recommended stories. how and why does snap chat choose these inappropriate
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stories to recommend to children, how does that happen, how would that happen? ms. stout: let me explain discover, it's a closed content platform and we indeed select and hand select partners we work with and that kind of content is designed to appear on discover and resonate with an audience that is 13 and above. i'm unfamiliar and taken notes about what you have said that your account surfaced. i want to make clear that what content intercommunesy guidelines suggest that any online sexual video game should be age related to 18 and above and unclear why it would have shown up for an account that was for a 14-year-old but these community guidelines and publisher guidelines on top of those guidelines are intended to be an age appropriate experience for a 13-year-old. senator lee: you have these
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community guidelines that are there and note that advertisers and media partners in discover agree to additional guidelines. what are these additional guidelines? i can guess they permit these age inappropriate articles to be shared with children? how would that not be the case? ms. stout: these additional guidelines on top of community guidelines are things that suggest they may not glorify violence, that any news articles must be accurate and fact checked, that there's no senator lee: i'm sure the articles about porn were fact checked and the tips on why you shouldn't go to bars alone are accurate and fact checked but that's not my question. it's about whether it's appropriate for children age is and up as you certified. ms. stout: absolutely. it's a area we're constantly evolving and there's any incident these publishers are showing content to a age cohort
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that's inappropriate will be removed from the platform. senator lee: you do review them? how do you conduct them? ms. stout: a variety of automated and human review and very much would be interested in talking to you and your staff about what kind of content this was because if it violates our guidelines that kind of content would come down. and nor, one last thing. while i would agree with you tastes vary when it comes to the kind of content promoted on discover. there is no content there that is illegal. there's no content there that is hurtful. it is intended to an closed ecosystem we have better control over the content that surfaces. senator lee: i'll be brief. senator cantwell: our colleague is patiently waiting. senator lee: snap chat assured its users it doesn't collect identifying data on them for
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advertising. that how does snap hot survive what content is pushed to top of their discover page? >> if you go to snap chat you select interest categories and there's several a user can select or unselect they wish that can be they like to watch movies or enjoy sports or fans of country music. at any point it is completely transparent and a user is the ability to go in and select what they like and that determines the kind of content that is surfaced to them and if there's any content they don't like they can uncheck or check and that really generates the kind of content that a user in discover would see. senator lee: i really do thinking we have to get to the bottom of this. these operations are inappropriate and we know there's content on snap chat and youtube among many other places that's not appropriate for children ages 12 or 13 and up.
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>> i thank you senator lee and would say to my line of questioning, it's not appropriate to tell advertisers it's not located next to content and then it is next to content that is inappropriate. senator lujan. senator lujan: thank you very much. in your testimony you mentioned all content on the spot light page is human reviewed before it can be viewed by more than 25 people. does human review help snap chat reduce the spread of harmful content? ms. stout: i believe it does. senator lujan: more platforms should work to stop harmful content from going viral but far too often we find companies say one thing to congress and then once attention is diverted and the public is distracted, they go around and do the very thing
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they were warning us against. can i hold you to that? will snap chat continue to keep a human in the loop before content is al gore rhythmically promoted to large audiences? ms. stout: this is the first time i testified before congress so please hold me to it. at snap chat we've taken a very human moderation first approach, not just on spotlight but across our platforms so yes, indeed, human moderation will continue to play a huge part of how we moderate content and how we keep our users safe. senator lujan: it's important to see users take responsibility before he had implement content and publish it to a massadence and something many of us share and why i introduced protecting americans from dangerous algorithms act as well, online platforms must be responsible when actively promoting hateful and dangerous content. mrs. miller, i'm grateful youtube is making an effort to
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help users view content of their community guidelines but i'm concerned with one trend. earlier i wrote a letter to youtube with 25 of my colleagues on the surprise of non-english misinformation on the platform. we need to make sure all communities no matter the language they use at home have the same access to good, reliable information will youtube tub accomplish the violent rates broke down by language? mrs. miller: thank for you your question and what you're referring to is the latest data point we shared earlier this year in which for every 10,000 views on youtube, 19-21 of those views are of content that is violent and we apply our content policies at a global scale across languages and we do not preference any one language over another.
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and this includes for the volumetive view rate. senator lujan: i don't believe that's good enough. when we don't break algorithms down by groups of different people we end up making existing gaps, existing biases worse. we've seen this with facial recognition technology that unfairly targeted communities of color and according to reports where we've seen it happen right now on youtube. so i'll ask again, will youtube publish the violative view rate broken down by language? mrs. miller: senator, i would be happy to follow up with you to talk through these details as i said for all of our content policies and the enforcement they're within and the transparency we provide, it is global in scope and it is across languages. senator lujan: i definitely look forward to following up and working with you in that space. mr. beckerman, before launching
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tiktok for younger users did tiktok do internal research to understand the impact it would have on young children? mr. beckerman: thank you, senator, i'm not aware but for tiktok for younger users it is curated with common sense networks and age appropriate experience but i'm not aware of any specific research. senator lujan: i'd like to follow up on that as well. product by tiktok can lead to addictive behavior and body image issues in young children and it's critical platforms work to under these problems before they take place. this is a very serious issue and one that's finally getting the attention it deserves with revelations and whistle blowers that have come forth. i urge you to take this opportunity to begin a transapparent verification of the impact your product is having on young children. and in the end i just want to follow up on something that many of us have commented on. leading up to these important hearings. and i appreciate the chair's attention to this, the ranking member, both of them have
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authored legislation. our chair and ranking member of the subcommittee have partnered on legislative initiatives. it's critically important we continue moving forward and that we markup legislation and get something adopted and i'm certainly hopeful that here in the united states we're paying attention to what's happening in other parts of the world. again, europe is outpacing the united states in being responsible with legislative initiatives surrounding protecting their consumers. there's no reason we can't do that here as well and thank chairman cantwell for the work she's doing in this space and look forward to working with everyone to get it done here in the united states. thank so you much and yield back. senator cantwell: you reintroduced that bill in the senate, is that right? ok. thank you. very much appreciate that and your leadership. we're awaiting the return of
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senator blumenthal so i can go and vote and if he doesn't come in the next minute or so we'll take a short recess because we're way pastime to get over there. i want to thank all the members who participated thus far because we've had a very robust discussion today you can see this is a topic the members feel very passionately about and obviously feel we need to do be doing more in this area and appreciate everybody's attendance and focus and want to thank senator blumenthal and senator blackburn for their leadership in having both of these hearings. and for the larger full committee, we had planned to move forward on many of these agenda items anyway but appreciative of the subcommittee doing some of the work in having members to have a chance to have very detailed interactions on
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these policies that we need to take action on, so very much appreciate that. so i see senator blumenthal has returned. thank you so much. and i'll turn it over to you. senator blumenthal: thank you, chairman cantwell, and thanks for your excellent work on this issue. i'd like to ask some additional questions on legislative proposals. one of the suggestions that senator klobuchar raised was we owe responsibility and liability which you know is for the precluded by section 230. let me ask each of you, would you support responsible measures
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like the earn it act, which i proposed to impose some legal responsibility and liability for cutting back on the immunity that section 230 affords? ms. stout? ms. stout: senator, we agree on snap chat there should be an update to the intermediary platform liability law, cda-230 and the last time we addressed the reform, snap chat was a company that actively participated in that and helped draft legislation so we'd welcome another opportunity, senator, to work with you on that. # senator blumenthal: would you support the earn it act which senator graham and i propose which affords liability and affords victims the opportunity to take action against platforms that engage in child pornography
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and related abuses? ms. stout: of course, senator. we completely prohibit that illegal activity and we actively look for it and when we find it, we remove it. if you'd allow me to get back to you, it's been a while i looked at the earn it act, i recall when you sent it, you and senator graham introduced it but believe the spirit of your legislation is something we'd very much support. senator blumenthal: you had the opportunity to say you support it before you haven't. would you commit to supporting it? ms. stout: senator, again, my memory is failing me a little bit but i do believe the provisions in the earn it act were many of the provisions that we supported, so i'd be happy to come back with a more senator kerry answer for you. whether blumenthal: mr. beckerman? mr. beckerman: we do agree there needs to be a bigger degree for content moderation that needs to be done in a way that allows all platforms to moderate in an
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appropriate and aggressive way to make sure that the kind of content that none of us want to see on the internet or platform is able to be removed. senator blumenthal: do you support changes in 230 to impose liability? mr. beckerman: there absolutely can and should be changes but in a way that would allow companies like ours that are good actors that are aggressively moderating our platform in a way we think is responsible to be able to continue to do so. senator blumenthal: will you support the earn it act? mr. beckerman: we agree with the spirit with and would be happy to work with you and your staff on that bill. senator blumenthal: it was reported unanimously out of the judiciary committee and has been changed. did you support it then? mr. beckerman: it would be unintended consequences that would lead a company's ability to remove and police violative content on platforms.
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senator blumenthal: is that a yes or no? mr. beckerman: maybe. senator blumenthal: so far we have two maybes. mrs. miller? mrs. miller: i'm aware of proposals regarding potential updates to 230 and me and my team as well as the other teams across google have been involved in the conversations regarding these various proposals. i would just like to say that we see 230 as the backbone of the internet and it is what allows us to moderate content, to make sure that we are taking down content that leads to potentially eating disorders, for example, what we've been talking about here earlier or self-harm. we want to make sure that we continue to have protections in place so we can moderate our platforms so they are safe and healthy for users. i am aware of the earn it act and i know again that our staffs
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have been speaking but i understand i think there is still ongoing discussions regarding some portions of the proposal but we also very much appreciate and understand the rationale as to why this was introduced, particularly around the area of child safety. senator blumenthal: is that a yes or no, do you support it? mrs. miller: we support the goals of the earn it act but there are some details i think are still being discussed. senator blumenthal: as senator markey has said, this is the talk we've seen again and again and again and again, we sport the goal but that's meaningless unless you support the legislation. and it took a fight literally beahr knuckle fight -- bear knuckle fight to get through legislation that made an
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exception under statute 4 liability on human trafficking. just one small piece of reform. and i join in the frustration felt by many of my colleagues that good intentions, support for goals, endorsement of purposes are no substitute no actual endorsement. i would ask that each and every one of you support the earn it act but also other specific measures that will provide for legal responsibility and i think i know what mrs. miller means by the claim that section 230 provides a backbone, but it's a backbone without any real spine right now because all it does is afford virtually limitless immunity to the internet and to
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the companies that are here. i'm going to interrupt my second round and call on senator cruz. senator cruz: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. beckerman, thank you for being here today. i understand this is the perfect time tiktok is testifying before congress and i appreciate you making the company available to finally answer some questions. in your testimony you talked about all the things you say tiktok is doing to protect kids online and that's great. i want to discuss the broader issue here. which is the control the chinese communist party has over tiktok, its parent company fight dance and its sisters companies like beijing technology. tiktok stated repeatedly it doesn't share the data it collects from americans with the chinese communist party and it wouldn't do so at best. it also stated that with regards to data collected on and from americans, that data stored in
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virginia with a backup in singapore. but these denials may in fact be misleading. a quick look at tiktok's privacy policy, in fact just last night, shows there's a lot more than meets the eyes. for example, in the, quote, how we share your information section, one blurb reads, quote, we may share all of the information we collect with a parent, subsidy or other affiliate of our corporate group. interestingly in june of this year the privacy policy was updated to state that tiktok, quote, may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under u.s. laws such as face prints and voice prints. mr. beckerman does tiktok consider bite dance a parent
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company headquartered in beijing to an part of tiktok's, quote, corporate group, as that term is used in your privacy policy? mr. beckerman: thank you, senator. this is an important question. i'd just like to take an opportunity first to clear up misconceptions around some of the accusations that have been leveled against the company. i would like to point to you independent research, i understand the -- mr. cruz: i get you may have broader points you want to make. my question is simple and straightforward, does tiktok consider bite dance a parent company headquartered in beijing to be part of tiktok's corporate group, that's a yes or no? mr. beckerman: access controls by our data is done by our u.s. teams and as independent researchers, independent experts have pointed out, the data that tiktok has on the app is not of a national security importance and is of low sensitivity but we hold it to a high standard and
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have access controls -- mr. cruz: the words that came out of your mouth have no relation to the questions asked. your privacy policy says you will share information with your corporate group. i'm asking a very simple question, is bite dance your parent company headquartered in beijing, part of your corporate group, yes or no as you use the term in your privacy policy? mr. beckerman: senator, i think it's important that i address the broader point in your statement. senator cruz: are you willing to answer the question yes or no, it's a yes or no question, is it part of your corporate group or not? mr. beckerman: yes, it is. senator cruz: under your policy you may share tata including face prints and voice prints, is that correct? mr. beckerman: no, the privacy policy says if we are to collect biometric information, which we do not collect bayo metric data to identify americans, we would provide consent and opportunity
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for consent first. senator cruz: you say you may share the information with a parent facility with bite dance in beijing. mr. beckerman: under u.s. access control, sir. mr. cruz: what about beijing bite dance technology which media reports earlier this year shows beijing took a minority stake in through a state bank, internet investment chinese entity and on the board of which now sits a c.c.p. official who spent most of his career in chinese propaganda including a stint with the online opinion bureau under the cyberspace administration of china. china's internet regulator. would you consider beijing bite dance technology to be a part of tiktok's corporate group with whom tiktok would share all of the information it collects? mr. beckerman: senator, i want to be clear that entity has no
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affiliation with tiktok, it's based for domestic licenses of the business in china that is not affiliated or connected to tiktok. senator cruz: are you saying no -- yes or no as to whether beijing bite dance technology is part of your corporate group as the privacy and policy group defines it, it says we may share all the information we collect with a parent, subsidiary and other affiliate and presumably that is where it would fall, other affiliate of the corporate group, is beijing bite dance a affiliate of your corporate group? mr. beckerman: i'm saying the entity deals with domestic businesses within china. senator cruz: you'rancing questions i'm not asking. again, it's a very/no, is beijing bite dance technology a, quote, other affiliate of your corporate group as your own privacy policy defines it? mr. beckerman: to be clear to
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answer your question, that entity is based in china for the chinese business not affiliated or connected with tiktok. senator cruz: that's twice you didn't answer. last time did you it on the third time. again, it's a yes/no. mr. beckerman: the answer is the staple. senator cruz: which is? mr. beckerman: that entity -- senator cruz: is beijing bite dance technology a, quote, other affiliate of our corporate group as your privacy policy defines it, yes or no? whether beckerman: senator, as i stated, that entity does not have any relation to the tiktok entity. senator cruz: it took three questions to get you to answer about your parent, you finally answered yes that you can share all your information with your parent company based in beijing and asked you three times about the sister company that is obviously another affiliate. you refused three times. that may be revealing obvious as
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sherlock holmes observed about the dogs that do not bark, it may be revealing that the chinese propaganda minister serving on your sister company and been in the business of online propaganda, you're refusing to answer whether they fall under your privacy policy i think reveal as great deal, unfortunately. mr. beckerman: senator, with all due respect, i'm trying to be accurate and there are a lot of accusations that are not true and want to make sure it's clear. senator cruz: i'll give you one more chance and my time is over but in baseball, three strikes you're out. announcer: you can continue to watch kids on social media if you go to our website or check it out on the c-span now video app and now we'll take you live to the u.s. house of representatives which is part of our more than 40-year commitment to live coverage of congress and the house is considering legislation on domestic violence and funds the national violence hotline and emergency shelters for


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