He said Nick Clegg, Vice President of Global Affairs at Facebook, said Instagram is introducing new measures to keep teens away from harmful content and encourage them to take a break from the platform.
Clegg made the comments less than a week after whistleblower Frances Hogan testified before Congress about internal research that showed the platform can have a negative impact on young people’s mental health.
“We offer something that I think could make a huge difference, where our systems see teens looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content that may not be good for their well-being, and we want to get them to look at other content,” Clegg said.
“In addition to pausing plans for Instagram Kids and giving parents optional controls to supervise teens, the company has planned to introduce a feature called ‘Take a Break’, where we urge teens to take a break from using the platform.”
Clegg did not provide a timeline for either feature. A Facebook spokesperson said the features had not yet been tested but that it was coming soon. The spokesperson referred to a post on September 27 by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, in which he stated that the company was exploring features.
“We announced last week that we’re exploring two new ideas, encouraging people to look at other topics if they’re viewing content that might contribute to negative social comparison, and a feature called Pause Take a Break, where people can pause their accounts and take a moment to think about whether it’s time for them,” Mosseri said at the time. They spend it useful or not.
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Instagram alerts teens to harmful content
Facebook also plans to introduce new controls for teens on an optional basis so that parents or guardians can supervise what teens do online.
Clegg said Facebook has invested $13 billion over the past few years in making sure the platform is kept safe. The company has 40,000 people working on these issues.
Facebook has come under heavy criticism over the past several weeks. This follows reports from the Wall Street Journal based on internal documents provided by Hugin.
Hogan, a former product manager at the company, testified before Congress. That’s in a hearing that focused on the company’s internal research that showed Instagram can be harmful. Especially for teenage girls.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, disagreed with Hugin’s comments. He said it makes no sense for a company that relies on advertisers to push content that makes people angry to make a profit.
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