Parents Unimpressed by Zuckerberg’s Apology

( – Following Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s viral apology at a recent hearing concerning social media safety, two of the parents present at the hearing said they were not convinced by the tech billionaire’s performance.

Rose and Robert Bronstein, whose son committed suicide at the age of 15 after being cyberbullied on Snapchat, appeared on CNN and told hosts Phil Mattingly and Poppy Harlow that they felt Zuckerberg’s apology wasn’t genuine and it felt misdirected. When Mattingly asked the parents how they felt when the Meta CEO and Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel apologized, the hosts noted how the apology wasn’t directly “to the families” for the company’s responsibility in the incident.

Robert Bronstein told Mattingly that he appreciated him pointing this out and said that Zuckerberg only apologized because GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri “clearly shamed him into it.” Robert described the scene in the room as “awkward and uncomfortable” and agreed with Mattingly that the apology was not a suitable one from a CEO who founded “one of the largest companies in the world” and did not address any harm caused by the company.

The father said the CEO’s apology amounted to simply saying they’re sorry for what the families are feeling and going through while taking no direct responsibility for it. He concluded that the apology was inappropriate and not “genuine,” but “forced” because the TV cameras were rolling. He said it was ultimately not an apology for any of the company’s actions that caused harm to users, specifically his son, Nate Bronstein.

Nate committed suicide on Jan. 13, 2022, after multiple classmates bullied and harassed him on the social media app Snapchat. Although Snapchat isn’t owned by Meta, Nate’s parents have been on a mission to hold Big Tech accountable across the board.

In his apology at the hearing, Zuckerberg said that “nobody should have to go through” what the families suffered, which is why [Meta] has “invested so much” to continue “industry-leading efforts” to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

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