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'It Wasn't Genuine': Parents of Social Media Victim Slam Mark Zuckerberg's Apology

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Grieving parents who lost their son to cyberbullying slammed Mark Zuckerberg's apology and said it "really didn't mean anything."

Feb. 1 2024, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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Robert and Rose Bronstein, grieving parents whose son died by suicide in 2022 after being cyberbullied, said the dramatic apology given by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg during a Senate online child safety hearing on Wednesday was insincere, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MI) tore into Zuckerberg while CEOs from other social media giants TikTok, Discord, X and Snapchat were also present and grilled him about whether he had fired anyone or apologized to the mothers and fathers who lost their children due to the mistreatment on his platforms that goes unchecked, prompting him to make a statement.

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"I'm sorry for everything you've all gone through," Zuckerberg, who runs Instagram and Facebook, said as he stood up to address the parents of children who were tormented by other social media users. "It's terrible. No one should have to go through the things that your families have suffered."

During an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow and Phil Mattingly on Thursday, Robert said Zuckerberg's remarks did not feel like they were from the heart and only seemed to happen because Hawley "clearly shamed him into it."

"It's certainly not the apology that was appropriate. It wasn't genuine," he continued. "It was forced with TV cameras rolling."

"It is most definitely not an apology for the actions that Facebook has done and for the harm it's caused," Robert said.

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parents of social media victim slam mark zuckerberg apology
Source: ZUMAPRESS.com / MEGA

Parents held up photos of their kids harmed by social media at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol.

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Robert and Rose's 15-year-old son, Nate, took his life on Jan. 13, 2022, less than two weeks before he was going to return to a former school.

Nate's parents didn't know until it was too late that he had been threatened and humiliated on Snapchat, and was even sent messages encouraging him to kill himself.

They have filed a $100 million lawsuit against Latin School of Chicago after enrolling him in the private institution in 2021. Nate had reported bullying to the dean, but she took no disciplinary action, according to his parents.

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"Based on the deflection and the denial coming from the CEOs who sat there to testify, at this point legislation needs to be put in place to hold these CEOs accountable," Rose said during an appearance on Fox News. "All they care about is profits."

Rose said the problem is especially nefarious on Snapchat because of its "disappearing message feature," which she said emboldens bullies to post whatever they want.

Zuckerberg was pressed about cyberbullying, negative mental health effects, nonconsensual sexually explicit images of children on Instagram, linked drug deaths and more on Wednesday.

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parents of social media victim slam mark zuckerberg apology
Source: Rod Lamkey - CNP / MEGA

Robert said Zuckerberg's remarks did not feel like they were from the heart and only seemed to happen because Senator Hawley "clearly shamed him into it."

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Rose slammed Zuckerberg's apology and said it "really didn't mean anything."

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Meta had earlier announced new safety measures, including that minors will now be unable to receive messages on Instagram and Messenger from people they don't know.

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