Home LATEST NEWS Instagram “can help” young people in difficulty, assures his boss

Instagram “can help” young people in difficulty, assures his boss

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Sometimes young people take to Instagram when they are going through difficult things in their lives., said the one who has run this subsidiary of Facebook (now Meta) for three years. I think Instagram can help a lot of them in these times.

As a preamble to this eagerly awaited hearing, Adam Mosseri listed a series of measures taken by Instagram to make the platform safer for its young followers, while defending the results of internal research which have recently been leaked and fueled criticism against them. of the social network.

One of the studies, from 2019, found that Instagram reflects a negative personal image for a third of girls under 20.

Another, from 2020, showed that 32% of teenage girls felt that using the social network had worsened their body image when they were already dissatisfied with it.

Facebook’s own research has alerted management, including you, for years to Instagram’s damaging impact on teen mental health, launched Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the sub-committee on consumer protection before which Mr. Mosseri is speaking.

Instagram for under-13s will move forward

However, Facebook continued to enjoy this disturbing content because it meant more traffic, advertising and dollars, was indignant the elected Democrat.

We have the same goal, replied Adam Mosseri, we want young people to be safe on the internet. The manager undertook, at the request of Mr. Blumenthal, to provide access to part of the product of his internal research.

He refused to publicly renounce the creation of an Instagram for under 13s, simply promising that the social network would not create accounts for 10-12 year olds that can be created without parental consent.

I’m frustrated, because this is the fourth time in two years that we’ve spoken to someone about Meta and I feel like the conversation keeps repeating itself endlessly., said Senator Marsha Blackburn, leader of the Republicans on the subcommittee.

A woman and a man, seated side by side behind a desk, listen to the testimony of a man filmed from behind.

Senators Marsha Blackburn and Richard Blumenthal listen to the hearing of Adam Mosseri (from behind).

Photo: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

My conversations with parents are a strong impetus for me to fight for reforms and demand the answers the whole country is waiting for., Senator Blumenthal said on Tuesday.

In mid-November, several states launched an investigation into whether Meta had deliberately let children and teens use Instagram knowing the platform could harm their mental and physical health.

On the eve of the hearing, Instagram announced a series of measures meant to strengthen the protection of young people.

In particular, the application will prevent people from mentioning in their publications minors who have not subscribed to their profile. She had already made these accounts private by default, upon registration.

Take a break

The social network will also offer, in March 2022, tools to allow parents to see how much time their children spend on the application and set limits. They will soon have access to an information center with tutorials and expert advice.

Another novelty, Instagram is launching, in all the major English-speaking markets, the option Take a break, which suggests stopping for a while scrolling content on the app.

Mr. Mosseri also announced the appearance, in January, of a new space within the application that will allow young people to review all their activity on Instagram, from content uploaded to comments, including comments. likes, and possibly delete part of it, in order to allow them to manage their digital footprint more easily.

These announcements were met with suspicion, even hostility, by US senators. Senator Blackburn thus accused Instagram of seeking to make diversion just before the hearing.

President of the Family Online Safety Institute, an association for the defense of families who use the Internet, Stephen Balkam greeted him with a sign encouraging. It’s the latest in a long line of improvements Instagram has made over the past two or three years.

Instagram is safer than it used to be, he continued, less toxic to adolescents. But it will never be perfect, never completely sure. But this is the case with all social networks.

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