Sen. Josh Hawley exposed Facebook, Instagram and parent company Meta for allowing a ‘vast elite pedophile network’ to operate on their platforms in plain sight.
In a Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law congressional hearing last week, Sen. Josh Hawley addressed Meta whistleblower Arturo Béjar, questioning him about a 2021 memo in which Béjar raised serious concerns about the company’s rampant pedophilia content.
'A Vast Pedophile Network': Josh Hawley Decries Predation Of Children On Meta's Platforms— Wittgenstein (@backtolife_2023) November 24, 2023
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) spoke about the rampant rate of sexual advancements that children experience on social media.
Source: Forbes Breaking… pic.twitter.com/FtzlzKqM02
“In that memo, you disclosed to them that according to your own research, one in eight children, children now, had experienced unwanted sexual advances within the last seven days,” said Hawley. “And about one in three—I think it was 27%—had experienced unwanted sexual advances outside of the seven day window.”
Béjar responded that the executives he’d emailed about the problem, which included Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Meta CEO Sheryl Sandberg, ignored his email.
Sen. Hawley next asked about the contents of a Wall Street Journal article, where they wrote:
Instagram helps connect and promote a vast network of accounts openly devoted to the Commission and purchase of underage sex content.
Pedophiles have long used the internet, but unlike the forums and file transfer services that cater to people who have an interest in illicit content, Instagram doesn’t merely host these activities. Instagram’s algorithms promote them. Instagram connects pedophiles and guides them to content sellers via recommendation systems that excel at linking those who share these interests, the journal and academic researchers found.
“This is a stunning, stunning report, Mr. Béjar, that more than buttresses bears out what you were telling, trying to tell the executives who ignored you,” Sen. Hawley told Béjar.
At the same time, Hawley said, Facebook has been coordinating with the Biden administration “to censor First Amendment protected speech.”
“There’s one example of a parent in my home state of Missouri who wanted to post something about a school board meeting,” Hawley said. “Facebook used human moderators to go and take down that post. That was important. That has to come down. We can’t have them posting about school board meetings, for heaven’s sake. But the things that your daughter experienced, this ring of pedophiles, rings plural, that Facebook just can’t find the time for. They just don’t have the resources for it.”
Sen. Hawley concluded that the only way Big Tech will ever change is if people have the ability to sue the social media platforms if they’re wronged.
“If you want to incentivize changes to these companies, you have got to allow people to sue them. […] And the other thing I’d just say is, on the money—the money that is flowing into this Capitol from Big Tech is obscene, it’s totally obscene—and if we really wanted to change something, we’d get the corporate money out of politics,” Hawley stated.
Watch the full exchange below: