Linda Yaccarino, CEO of
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Lawmakers said Monday they had issued subpoenas to the CEOs of X, Break and Discord to force executives to testify at a hearing on online child sexual exploitation.
Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said they issued the subpoenas to the executives after “repeated refusals to appear during several weeks of negotiations.”
“Since the beginning of this Congress, our Committee has united around a key bipartisan issue: protecting children from the dangers of the online world,” the senators wrote in a joint statement. “It’s on every parent’s mind, and the failure of big tech companies to police themselves at the expense of our children cannot go unanswered.”
The senators said the Senate Judiciary Committee required the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service to personally serve the subpoenas to Discord and X, which they characterized as “a notable departure from typical practice.”
“At our February hearing on protecting children’s safety online, we promised Big Tech that they would have the opportunity to explain their failures to protect children,” Durbin and Graham wrote. “Now we have that opportunity. Hearing from the CEOs of some of the world’s largest social media companies will help inform the Committee’s efforts to address the crisis of online child sexual exploitation.”
Wifredo Fernandez, head of U.S. and Canadian government affairs at since safety is our priority.” priority in X.”
“Today we communicate our updated availability to participate in a hearing on this important issue,” Fernández said.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a company spokesperson said in an email.
“Our team is coordinating with Committee staff on possible dates,” the Snap spokesperson said. “We appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Committee to discuss this vital issue.”
A Discord spokesperson said that “keeping our users, especially young people, safe is critical to everything we do at Discord.”
“We have been actively engaging with the Committee on how we can best contribute to this important industry discussion,” the Discord spokesperson said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work together as an industry and with the Committee.”
The senators said they have also been communicating with Goal and Tiktok. They said they expect Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and TikTok’s Shou Zi Chew to testify voluntarily sometime in the New Year, a spokesperson said.
A TikTok spokesperson said “discussions with the Committee are ongoing.”
The child safety hearing will be held on December 6.
LOOK: Full CNBC interview with X Corp. CEO Linda Yaccarino
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