There are growing concerns about the use of teenagers on Instagram after internal reports leaked suggesting that the app could be unhealthy for some teenage girls. The owner of the Facebook app now says he is taking steps to promote healthier use.
Separately, one academic claims that legislators do not understand teenagers and are trying to pass a law to control the wrong application …
We have previously described the background of this:
The WSJ gained access to an internal presentation on a three-year study of the impact of using Instagram on teenagers, especially teenage girls. The paper concluded that the findings showed that Instagram was “poisonous” to teenage girls, and that Facebook was aware of it.
Facebook claimed that the findings were taken out of context, and that its research actually showed that using Instagram brought more benefits than harm. However, it was subsequently announced that work on the Instagram project for children was suspended.
Facebook later posted two reports, with notes that it said provide important context while WSJ shared four more.
Using teens on Instagram to be healthier
Rock reports that Facebook spokesman Nick Clegg said the company will make changes to both Facebook and Instagram.
In the Facebook application, the company will amplify the content of friends and reduce political content, in accordance with user feedback.
Clegg said CNN that there will be three upcoming changes on Instagram.
“We understand the concern of some that we have to pause, listen to experts, explain our intentions and so on,” he said. “Obviously, we’re going to introduce new controls for adult teens, so that adults can monitor what their teens are doing online.”
He added, “Second, we’re going to do something that I think will make a significant difference, and that’s where a teenager looks at the same content over and over again and its content that may not be good for their well-being, we encourage them to look at other content,” he said. is.
He also said that there would be some kind of respite request, but did not provide any details. TNW notes that the YouTube app has a similar feature, but users must turn it on and choose their own time limits.
Facebook clearly hopes that this kind of self-regulation will help prevent growing pressure on legislation, but Reuters notes that legislators cannot be discouraged.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat who chairs a subcommittee on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has advocated for greater regulation against technology companies like Facebook.
“I’m tired of hearing ‘trust us’ and it’s time to protect those moms and dads who have struggled with their children to become addicted to the platform and exposed to various bad things,” Klobuchar told CNN on Sunday after Clegg’s interview.
Lawmakers don’t understand teenagers
Yes, that’s obvious – but one academic says it means lawmakers are focusing on the wrong applications.
Recent Senate hearings – convened under the banner “Protecting Children Online” – have focused on whistleblower findings about what Facebook itself knows about how its products harm teenagers’ mental health. This is an important question to ask. But if there is to be a calculation of the role of social media in society, and especially their effect on teenagers, shouldn’t legislators also talk about, um, the platforms that teenagers actually use? […]
Late last month, TikTok announced that it has more than a billion monthly users. According to some data, it was the most downloaded application in 2020, and it remained so until 2021. […]
From today’s social media, TikTok is likely to represent the future [as] the user base consists mainly of young people […] If legislators want to address the problems that social media platforms cause to young people, they should care about the platforms that young people care about.
Photo: Jeremy Bezanger / Unsplash
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