Do We Have to Let Big Tech Destroy Our Children? The Power of Parents Over Social Media

It is difficult to hear or understand what Zuckerberg said: “I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through. Nobody should have to go through what your families have suffered. This is why we have invested so much and are going to continue industry-leading efforts to make sure that no one has to go through the types of things your families have suffered.” But even if they are willing to invest in such efforts, can social media companies stop such online activities? More importantly, do they have the will to stop child pornography or dangerous viral content?

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This week, we saw many of the CEOs of social media companies such as Facebook, TikTok, and others come before the Senate Judiciary Committee on “online child safety” to address the responsibility these companies have when it comes to child exploitation, online bullying, and even several children who died from suffocation when attempting a “blackout challenge”.

One viral moment occurred when Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri prodded Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta, to apologize to parents of children who died because of the poor job done policing dangerous content that reportedly resulted in their deaths. Watch:

It is difficult to hear or understand what Zuckerberg said: “I’m sorry for everything you’ve all gone through. Nobody should have to go through what your families have suffered. This is why we have invested so much and are going to continue industry-leading efforts to make sure that no one has to go through the types of things your families have suffered.”

But even if they are willing to invest in such efforts, can social media companies stop such online activities? More importantly, do they have the will to stop child pornography or dangerous viral content?

As the Wall Street Journal found out in an expose they did last year on child porn on Instagram, the answer would seem to be no.

What power do parents have to protect their children from the big tech companies? Are the children coming of age today just doomed to lives of misery and exploitation because of social media?

Of course not.

It turns out that the Lord gave fathers and mothers enormous power and influence in our children’s lives; we only need the will to use it.

First, we should give our children a firm foundation to build their lives. As parents, we are to train up our children. Fathers take the lead in teaching their children sound doctrine, and mothers guide their sons and daughters in the way of the Lord.

Next, a radical idea: kids don’t need smartphones with internet and social media access. While it can seem easier to give our children a screen to look at while we look at ours, we should reject the practice altogether.

If we feel our children should have a phone so we can call them or they can call us, flip phones are still sold with only voice and text available. With so many studies showing that social media access is terrible for kids, why should we pay for a phone that will ruin them?

God gives Christians wisdom to be discerning. We should not rely on the government to provide complex solutions to problems that can be easily solved by wise choices.

Certainly, we can’t count on big tech billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg to devise ways to protect our children; that is our job.

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