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Mark Zuckerberg gave an unplanned apology to families who had been affected by online bullying thanks to a Republican Senator.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing Wednesday titled “Big Tech and the Online Child Sexual Exploitation Crisis.” The hearing was meant to hold Big Tech leaders accountable for the widespread misuse of social media by not properly monitoring child bullying and sexual exploitation.

CEOs of various digital platforms testified in front of Congress and several families of victims who were impacted by their negligence. TikTok CEO Shou Chew, X CEO Linda Yaccarino, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta (Facebook and Instagram) were all questioned by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Zuckerberg was questioned by a handful of senators including Ted Cruz and Sen. Lindsey Graham. However, nobody was more prepared for this moment than Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO.)

Sen. Hawley took his time to throw Zuckerberg’s own words back at him. The senator grilled the Meta CEO on how he has taken no responsibility for social media’s role in affecting the average teenager’s mental health. The senator’s words were at one point met with applause and support from the room. 

Hawley then brought up past emails Meta received detailing data showing that “37 percent of teenage girls between 13 and 15 were exposed to unwanted nudity in a week on Instagram.” He proceeded to ask who Zuckerberg fired after this information was given to the company. Hawley then suggested the Facebook founder personally apologize to all the victims and loved ones in the room. Surprisingly, Zuckerberg did stand up and face the room.

“I’m sorry for everything you have all been through. No one should go through the things that your families have suffered and this is why we invest so much and we are going to continue doing industry-wide efforts to make sure no one has to go through the things your families have had to suffer.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee says they hope these testimonies will “highlight the need for Congress to act” on several bipartisan bills aimed at online exploitation of children.

Listen to the rest of the hearing highlights below: