Toward the end of Wednesday's hearing, GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee invited Instagram head, Adam Mosseri, to speak directly to parents whose children's have experienced mental or physical health impacts from the platform.
"I want to give you one minute to speak to parents who are struggling — their children have attempted suicide, or maybe some of them have taken their life," Blackburn said. "Speak directly to these parents because ... I’ve talked to a lot of parents, they’ve never heard one word from Instagram or Facebook or Meta and they are struggling with this."
Mosseri responded by saying that, as a father of three boys, "to any parent that has ever lost a child or had a child hurt themself, I can't begin to imagine what that would be like."
As the head of Instagram, it's my responsibility to do all I can to keep people safe, I've been committed to that for years and I'm going to continue to do so," he said. "Whether or not we invest more than every other company or not doesn't really matter for any individual, if any individual harms themselves or has a negative experience on our platform, that's something that I take incredibly seriously."
Mosseri added that he believes parents know what's best for their children, and reiterated the value of parental controls, which Instagram plans to roll out next year.
"But I also know that a lot of parents are busy ... so I don't want to rely on parental controls, I think it's incredibly important that the experience is safe and appropriate for your age, no matter what it is — 13, 15, 17," he said.
But Blackburn appeared dissatisfied by Mosseri's response.
"Mr. Mosseri, we are telling you children have inflicted self-harm, they are getting information that is destroying their young lives, and we are asking you, have some empathy and take some responsibility," she said. "And it seems as if you can't just get on that path, so we are going to continue to work on this issue."
Read more about today's hearing here.